Eobania vermiculata

Eobania vermiculata

''Eobania vermiculata'' also known as ''Helix vermiculata'', common name the "chocolate-band snail" is a species of large, air-breathing, land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Helicidae, the true snails or typical snails.

''Eobania vermiculata'' is the type species of the genus ''Eobania''.
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Appearance

The color of the shell is very variable, whitish to greenish yellow, often with colour bands or spots. Lower side is frequently with two brown bands and whitish between lowest band and umbilicus. The shell has 4-4.5 whorls. The last whorl is descending abruptly below periphery. The apertural margin is white, reflected in adult shells, in juveniles only at columellar side. The umbilicus is narrow and open in juveniles, partly covered by the reflected columellar margin, completely closed in adult shells.

The width of the shell is 22–32 mm. The height of the shell is 14–24 mm.

In northern Greece variation seems to be lower than in southern Greece .

Juveniles differ from ''Theba pisana'' by the larger size of the apex.
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Distribution

This species of large land snail is common in the Mediterranean area and it ranges from eastern Spain to the Crimea:
⤷  Israel
⤷  Egypt
⤷  eastern Spain
⤷  eastern Bulgaria
⤷  southern Greece
⤷  Crimea in Ukraine

Nonindigenous distribution of ''Eobania vermiculata'' include:
⤷  This species has been introduced to southeastern Australia, where it is known as the chocolate-band snail.
⤷  One individual of this snail species was found living on a wall in Lewisham, London, England, in 2006. It remains to be seen if a colony will establish itself or not.

This species is already established in the USA, and is considered to represent a potentially serious threat as a pest, an invasive species which could negatively affect agriculture, natural ecosystems, human health or commerce. Therefore it has been suggested that this species be given top national quarantine significance in the USA.
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Habitat

''Eobania vermiculata'' live in a broad variety of habitats, usually in dry vegetation, mainly in coastal vicinity, also in agricultural crops. It is very common in Crete, the species lives on practically every small island in the south Aegean.


In northern Greece copulation takes place after the first rainfalls in autumn. These snails create and use love darts as part of their mating behavior. Around 70 eggs per snail are laid 20 days later. The size of the egg is 4.1 × 3 mm. Juveniles hatch shortly after and grow about 12–13 mm in diameter per year for 2 years . Maturity is reached after 2 years when the diameter reaches 25 mm, the umbilicus becomes closed and the apertural margin becomes reflected. Snails reach 29–30 mm diameter in May/June of the second year in northern Greece , reaching a maximum diameter may take 5 years or more, but mortality increases greatly after 2 years.

About 20% of the snails in a population survive to lay eggs in the 3rd year, 5% of the snails lay eggs again in the 4th year. The mortality rates decrease with age. The animals hibernate or aestivate , but juveniles and adults show differences in their behaviour. Adults dig into the soil and build an epiphragm, while juveniles search protected places under stones or leaves of low plants.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionMollusca
ClassGastropoda
OrderStylommatophora
FamilyHelicidae
GenusEobania
SpeciesE. vermiculata
Photographed in
Greece