Friday, July 04, 2008

Love, unrequited

A week ago, Aydin, at Snail's Tales, posted his technique for monitoring mating snails. It looked simple enough; catch the snails, keep them apart for a day or two, then put them together on an observation platform. He uses a glass plate.

I could do that! It's the season for snails, and they're easy to feed and house. Wednesday afternoon, I caught a pair of grove snails and brought them inside.

And right away, the snails imposed their own rules on the game.

By the time I was inside with them, one of the snails had glommed onto the other, and had no intention of letting go. Oh, well; maybe they didn't need to be kept apart for a day. I put them in a dish, together.

Snail # 1 proceeded to climb all over Snail # 2, just as Aydin had described. But Two would have none of it. He simply locked himself inside his shell and refused to come out.

After a while, One gave up and went about his business. Much later, Two got hungry, stretched out, and went a-foraging.

Inevitably, he met One:

They exchanged pleasantries:

And then One turned away. But now Two was interested in a relationship; he gave chase, and glued himself to One.

Nothing doing. One's feelings had been hurt, maybe; he wrenched himself out of Two's amorous grasp, and hurried off.

They're still in the same container, roaming around. Every so often, they come face to face, but as soon as they make eye contact, one or the other turns aside.

Tomorrow, One's going into solitary confinement for a couple of days. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say.


  1. Anonymous6:43 pm

    great photos. I've always liked the look of snails.

    I never would have thought to do this myself, but it certainly was interesting.

  2. Anonymous6:05 pm

    i have a question do you no when they mate like wht time of year ?
    >btw love the photos

  3. Anon; I don't really know, but this was July, and Aydin's pair had mated the week before.


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