Burgundy Snail

Burgundy Snail - Helix Pomatia

Burgundy Snail (Helix Pomatia)

Helix pomatiacommon names the Burgundy snailRoman snailedible snail or escargot, is a species of large, edible, air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Helicidae. It is a European species. It is called by the French name escargot when used in cooking. Although this species is highly prized as a food it is difficult to cultivate and rarely farmed commercially.[3]

Description

The shell is creamy white to light brownish, often with indistinct brown colour bands.[4] The shell has five to six whorls.[4] The aperture is large.[4] The apertural margin is white and slightly reflected in adult snails.[4] The umbilicus is narrow and partly covered by the reflected columellar margin.[4]

The width of the shell is 30–50 mm.[4] The height of the shell is 30–45 mm.[4]

Ecology

Habitat

In southeastern Europe, H. pomatia lives in forests and open habitats, gardens, vineyards, especially along rivers, confined to calcareous substrate.[4] In central Europe, it occurs in open forests and shrubland on calcareous substrate.[4] It prefers high humidity and lower temperatures, and needs loose soil for burrowing to hibernate and lay its eggs.[4] It lives up to 2100 m above sea level in the Alps, but usually below 2000 m.[4] In the south of England, it is restricted to undisturbed grassy or bushy wastelands, usually not in gardens; it has a low reproduction rate and low powers of dispersal.[4]

Life cycle

Average distance of migration reaches 3.5–6.0 m.[4]

This snail is hermaphroditic. Reproduction in central Europe begins at the end of May.[4]

Eggs are laid in June and July, in clutches of 40–65 eggs.[4] The size of the egg is 5.5–6.5 mm[4] or 8.6 × 7.2 mm.[10] Juveniles hatch after three to four weeks, and may consume their siblings under unfavourable climate conditions.[4] Maturity is reached after two to five years.[4] The life span is up to 20 years.[4] Ten-year-old individuals are probably not uncommon in natural populations.[4] The maximum lifespan is 35 years.[4]

During estivation or hibernation, this species creates a calcareous epiphragm to seal the opening of the shell.

Conservation

This species is listed in IUCN Red List, and in European Red List of Non-marine Molluscs as Least Concern.[11][12] Helix pomatia is threatened by continuous habitat destructions and drainage, usually less threatened by commercial collections.[4] Many unsuccessful attempts have been made to establish the species in various parts of England, Scotland and Ireland; it only survived in natural habitats in southern England, and is threatened by intensive farming and habitat destruction.[4] It is of lower concern in Switzerland and Austria, but many regions restrict commercial collecting.[4]

More Info in WIKIPEDIA