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General Information

Common garden snail
Scientific name: Helix aspersa
Synonyms: Brown garden snail, European brown garden snail


This type of snail prefers to feed on cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, bean, beet, brussels sprouts, lettuce, onion, peas, radish, tomato, turnips, barley, oats, wheat, flowers and ornamentals, apple, apricot, citrus, peach, and plum (Dekle; Fasulo, 2002).


Common garden snail is found worldwide


Snails feed on seedlings, soft plant parts, ripening fruit that are close to the soil, and organic matter. Their feeding damage is irregular large holes on leaves but they can consume the young seedlings completely. n


The eggs are white and spherical, about 3 mm in diameter in size. These are deposited in a cluster (an average of 86 eggs) in a nest found 2.5 - 4 cm deep below the soil surface. The egg mass is concealed by a mixture of soil with secreted mucus followed by a quantity of excrement. The eggs will hatch in about 2 weeks (Dekle; Fasulo, 2002).

The hatchling is fragile and translucent. It will reach maturity in about 10 months and/or 2 years depending upon the environmental conditions (Dekle; Fasulo, 2002).

The adult common garden snail has a large and spherical thin shell that is moderately glossy and sculptured with fine wrinkles. It is yellow or horned-colored with chestnut brown spiral bands, adorned with yellow streaks. An adult can measure up to 3 - 3.4 cm in diameter (Dekle; Fasulo, 2002).

Snails are hermaphrodites, having both the male and the female reproductive organs. They have to mate to reproduce but cases of self-fertilization are reported to occur. Snails are nocturnal and come out to feed at night time. They are very active when the soil is wet. When the temperature is unfavorable, they can hibernate for months in the soil and become active again when the rainy season comes.
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