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Snail  Roman Snail

Roman Snail - Photo  Copyright 2004 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
Find out more about land snails of Britain with this neat little book - click here

Latin name: Helix pomatia

Size: Shell can be up to 5cms across

Distribution: Rare. Found in southern to central England. The stronghold for this species is the Downs in Buckinghamshire, England.

Food: Plant matter.

Habitat: Lime rich soils and chalk downland.

Life Span: Up to 10 years

Special features: This is Britain's largest snail, but the lack of fossil evidence of this species suggests that it may have been introduced. It was possibly brought here by the Romans as a source of food - hence the name.

Click for a better viewThe shell is very rounded, often white in colour with pale brown bands. Here's one alongside a common garden snail shell.

Click for a better viewRoman snails mate on damp nights when the weather is cool. Mating can take several hours. It starts with the male and female circling each other and touching each others tentacles. Then they raise the front part of their bodies and press their soles against each other.

Roman snails are often referred to as 'Edible Snails', but the common Garden Snail is just as edible. In any case the Roman Snail is now so rare that it has legal protection.


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