Spiral Sunday #24 – a Roman snail

Roman snail cropped 20170303_123004.png

Although it is technically a non-native species, as it was almost certainly brought to Britain by the Romans, Helix pomatia (the edible or Roman snail) is nonetheless protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), and in England it is an offence to sell, collect, kill or injure this species. That’s an unusual situation for an alien animal or plant in this country, and I’m struggling to think of another example – are there any?

Regardless of its status, the large shells of the Roman snail (several times bigger than the common garden snail Cornu aspersum when fully grown) form a beautiful spiral for today’s Spiral Sunday posting.

Thanks to Dr Tim Astrop for allowing me to photograph this dead specimen.

2 thoughts on “Spiral Sunday #24 – a Roman snail

  1. Matt Shardlow

    Probable early introductions
    Brown hare (different partial protection)

    More recent reintroductions
    Large blue
    White tailed eagle

    We will probably never know how they got here
    Starlet sea anemone
    Ivell’s sea anemone
    Medicinal leech
    Some beetles
    Some moths
    Trembling sea-mat
    Lagoon sandworm
    Small alison
    Field eryngo
    Many other plants

    And of course most species have been moved by people within the UK and are protected wherever they have ended up.

    1. jeffollerton Post author

      Thanks Matt, that’s really useful. Personally I wouldn’t count re-introductions in the same way, but even so it’s a lot more species that I’d thought.


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