Hermaphrodite’s Love Dart

I was out in the back garden doing some pruning of the Eunymous and stumbled upon a little snail who was just doing his or her thing. Never one to miss a “photo-op,” I whipped out my camera and grabbed a few images of the little fella. 

I’d be lying if I said I was some kind of “Helix Aspersa” expert, but I may know a thing or two. As a budding mollusk aficionado, I’ve come to learn that this specimen is in fact the most common garden snail in the western world and is known as a “European Brown Garden Snail.”

As all mollusk-enthusiasts know, this particular snail is an air-breather, has one lung and tends to perform most of it’s activity in the evenings or early mornings. Dubbed the Usain Bolt of snails (by me), this little one can travel at speeds of upwards to 1.5cm. per second. Hold onto your hats, cause that comes out to about 15 inches per minute! 

Other Helix Aspersa facts you should know are that these little hard-shelled/soft-bodied specimens eat all manner of organic matter and are fiercely territorial. It is not uncommon for these snails to attack humans or other predators on site. There are many tales of severe injury or even death resulting from run-ins with this particular species. 

Okay, that last little bit was mostly bulls**t. I’ll leave you to figure out which parts…

In regard to reproduction, these gastropods are hermaphroditic. To the un-woke, that means these little ones carry both male and female reproductive organs. According to “Snail-World.com,” this doesn’t keep them from mating. Apparently a pair of snails will mate somewhere between… 4 and 12 hours! I’ve included a screen-capture of that fact from Snail-World.com because… they use the phrase, “love-dart.”

Anyway, you never know what you are going to find in the nether-regions of ones own garden and what you will learn with further investigation. 

Published by DW

Freelance writer, photographer and traveler who enjoys sharing his experiences with others.

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