Rumina Decollata

Section dedicated to Molluscs - a group of soft bodies creatures with hard shells such as snails, clams, oysters etc.

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Conchiolin
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Rumina Decollata

Post by Conchiolin » Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:04 pm

Hello folks. I was watering my plants last saturday when I saw this Decollate snail that seemed to be mating with a little Helix aspersa. I was really curious about this behaviour. Our garden is literally crammed with those Decollate snails. They do cause considerable damage especially succulent plants. When i finished with watering I grabbed those molluscs and put them in a plastic box and took a few photos. And i came to find out that these 2 were not mating but the Rumina Decollata was actually eating the HELIX!!!

I observed the 2 for some time. The next day the Helix apersa shell was empty and clean from the inside! Perhaps we should use them as biological control especialy against the Theba Pisana. They do a lot of crop damage but the thing is i don't know if they feed only on the Helix aspersa. I really want to know why are these molluscs not found in the wildlife but only in gardens. I mean you find the
Brown garden snail in every nooke and cranny in Malta. Is the Decollate snail, the only carnivorous snail in Malta? And what intrigues me most is how does he manage to eat the flesh with those pathetic chitinous (am i right about the chitinous?) "teeth".

(Another peculiar thing is that i observed small (white) insects constantly running around the body of the decollate snail any ideas?)

If you don't believe what i say check this out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decollate_snail

A few photos........
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HPIM1793.JPG
Some decollates in my garden
HPIM1793.JPG (372.89 KiB) Viewed 15747 times
HPIM1716.JPG
A carnivourous snail.
HPIM1716.JPG (326.94 KiB) Viewed 15747 times
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IL-PINE
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Post by IL-PINE » Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:30 pm

Boq! I have never heard of it.... The Rumina should be vegetarian, but I guess it fell for the Helix (like the Maltese). I hope the Rumina in your garden won't start felling the walls in your garden to find the Helix! :-D

You are creating interesting treads Conchiolin!

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Conchiolin
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Post by Conchiolin » Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:17 am

What exactly haven't you heard of Pine?

The existence Rumina Decollata or the fact that the snail is omnivorous?

It says so on wikipedia it is carnivorous and is used as biological control against the helix aspersa in agriculture in North America and they also bury in the soil and eat annelids such as the earthworms. It says so on wiki! :)

Check out this link it shows a group of rumina feeding on a Helix:

http://www.associatesinsectary.com/rumina_decollata.htm

I can tell you it's a hell of biological control i only see the hollow shells of the Cantareus (or Helix) in my garden!
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Post by IL-PINE » Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:49 pm

thought it was vegetarian! good to know.
thanks :)

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