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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Goings on in the garden.

I'm not in the habit of indulging in voyeurism, but when it comes to snails I can't help myself! The photograph shows a pair, on one of our garden steps, in the act of reproduction. Foreplay in the snail world is a lengthy process. It can take up to twenty hours or more! I once began watching a couple of Giant African Land Snails engaging in the lovemaking process late at night. When I got up the next morning, they were still at it! However you feel about snails, it's a gentle and tender act to behold as they kiss each other delicately all over each other's 'necks'..... er well, I've included a link that will go into the matter in more detail.

And here is the outcome (see photograph below). On repotting my fuchsias, here is where one snail managed to lay its bundle of eggs. Each egg takes the snail 15 to 30 minutes to lay. Seeing as it lays up to about 60 eggs, the process can take from 20 to 30 hours!

Whenever I come across a freshly lain bundle of snails eggs I marvel at how like freshwater pearls they are, shiny and opaque and beautiful. Even though they are not sticky, they seem to hold together in one wobbly mass. I wonder what it is that makes them stick together when they're not sticky?! And please don't worry about the pair of snails reproducing on our garden step; I very carefully removed them intact to a place of safety where they wouldn't get squished by our three large dogs!


  1. ha ha, I never thought of snails mating! Very interesting!

  2. Lol Nancy..... there's a lot of rumpy pumpy going on in our gardens that we don't usually get to see. :O)

  3. Amazing, Lesley! Here we have many types of snails here in New England, but most of the land dwellers have no shell. These ones are commonly called slugs. Just now the large orange ones and their sparkly slime trails are everywhere! They are so plentiful on sidewalks near wooded areas, that when I walk Rigby we have to be careful not to step on them. I always wondered about whether they laid eggs! Thank you for a fascinating post!

  4. Hi Cg. :D The same process for all, right down to the tiniest of creatures. Only they seem to spend longer at it! :)

  5. Hello Deedee. :) I know the ones you mean..... I've seen some of them in our compost bin.

    We have a sidewalk/path near us like that too, which is always covered in slugs. Sometimes when I take the dogs out and hubby asks where I'm going I tell him we're off down the slug path! lol

    I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

  6. You've got an amazing view of nature and all its detail that's for sure!

  7. Thank you Gf. :D Most people just call me 'odd', but I'm siding with you!