Photo of the day (20): Aegopinella nitidula

Aegopinella nitidula is a land snail living in wet habitats. This specimen is from northern Bohemia. The proper determination requires dissection but another malacologist determined it in situ based on its appearance and detailed knowledge of local malacofauna. There are usually only informations about its shell and about its reproductive system available in books. Its shell is red-brown in color. The only information about a live snail is usually like this: The color of the body is dark.

So enjoy the photo of this snail:

Aegopinella_nitidula

Apical view:

Aegopinella_nitidula_2

According to tables in Falkner et al. (2001) feeding habits are like this: It prefer dead plants. It is sometimes carnivorous/saprophagous. It rarely eat also living algae and fungi.

I gave fresh leaves of Trifolium repens as a food source and a Trochulus hispidus as a prey for this snail. I was hoping that it will be enough for my AegopinellaAegopinella died after about 7-10 days but Trochulus survived in the same conditions. I am not sure if Aegopinella nitidula was eating those leaves and if it would eat those leaves after some time. It did not eat the Trochulus hispidus so I think that it can not predate an adult Trochulus hispidus that has approximatelly the same size as Aegopinella.

Your infomations about feeding habits of Aegopinella nitidula are welcomed.

References

Falkner G., Obrdlík P., Castella E. & Speight M. C. D. (2001). Shelled Gastropoda of Western Europe. München: Friedrich-Held-Gesellschaft, 267 pp.

(in Czech) Horsák M., Juřičková L., Beran L., Čejka T. & Dvořák L. 2010: Komentovaný seznam měkkýšů zjištěných ve volné přírodě České a Slovenské republiky. [Annotated list of mollusc species recorded outdoors in the Czech and Slovak Republics]. – Malacologica Bohemoslovaca, Suppl. 1: 1-37.

How does Oxychilus draparnaudi eat

Finally I have taken some photos of Oxychilus draparnaudi feeding on Trochulus hispidus after two months and half of keeping it.

I have taken the first photo on 15 October 10:34 AM and it stopped feeding on 10:52 AM. Although it is referred as a nocturnal animal, I was glad to see it feeding on daylight. It was sunny day, so taking photos was not difficult.

The first photo shows the foot, because it was feeding on the transparent lid of the terrarium. The predator was holding the whole of its prey when it was upside down.

Oxychilus_draparnaudi_feeding_01

Then I have removed the lid and rotated the lid to take these photos:

Oxychilus_draparnaudi_feeding_02
Oxychilus_draparnaudi_feeding_03
Oxychilus_draparnaudi_feeding_04
Oxychilus_draparnaudi_feeding_05

First photos immeditelly after the feeding:

Oxychilus_draparnaudi_after_feeding_01Oxychilus_draparnaudi_after_feeding_02Oxychilus_draparnaudi_after_feeding_03

Usually after the feeding process are shells empty and clean. I have probably distrubed its feeding process, because it seems that it have eaten the body of the first 3/4 of the first whorl only. The same shell of Trochulus hispidus still contain some material inside:

Trochulus_hispidus_shell

Open data:

continuously updated spreadsheet with data what Oxychilus draparnaudi have eaten.

 

Photo of the day (11): Perpolita hammonis

Perpolita hammonis is a small land snail. It is also known as Nesovitrea hammonis. It lives in Palearctic. It is quite common species, that lives in forests as well as in open habitats. Although it belongs to Oxychilidae, it can be easily identified, because it has regular radial ribs on the shell that are clearly visible under any magnifying glass.

Perpolita_hammonis

It prefer from moist to wet humidity, so I keep them rather in wet environment.

Perpolita_hammonis_foot

References:

Falkner G., Obrdlík P., Castella E. & Speight M. C. D. (2001). Shelled Gastropoda of Western Europe. München: Friedrich-Held-Gesellschaft, 267 pp.

(in Slovak) Lisický M. J. (1991). Mollusca Slovenska [The Slovak molluscs]. VEDA vydavateľstvo Slovenskej akadémie vied, Bratislava, 344 pp.

How does Oxychilus hunt?

I wanted to see how the predaceous snail Oxychilus draparnaudi hunts and eats its prey. It is called to be typical predaceous species. But after 10 days of keeping it at home I have not seen it hunting yet.

Diary:
3rd August – I have collected the snail Oxychilus draparnaudi (shell width 7.5 mm). Locality: Olomouc, Czech Republic.

Oxychilus_draparnaudi_01

4th August – no food

5th August – added 3 Trochulus hispidus. They have cucumber as a food source. Even when the predator was at least one day without the food and its prey has been crawling on the predator’s body, it has not been hunting them during the day.

Oxychilus_draparnaudi_02

6th August – found Trochulus hispidus (shell width 4.0 mm) eaten

7th August – found Trochulus hispidus (shell width 5.5 mm) eaten at 9:01 and I have taken the photo of Oxychilus above the empty shell.
-  added 6 Trochulus hispidus
- added 2 adult Laciniaria plicata. I have no idea if it will be able to eat them.

Oxychilus_draparnaudi_03

8th August – found Trochulus hispidus (shell width 5.0 mm) eaten

9th August – found Trochulus hispidus (shell width 3.5 mm) eaten

10th August – nothing

11th August – found Trochulus hispidus (shell width 3.5 mm) eaten

12th August – nothing

13th August – nothing, measured Oxychilus draparnaudi (shell width is still 7.5 mm)

Results:
All my controls when I have found empty shells, were during the day, but the Oxychilus draparnaudi is nocturnal. Some controls were at night.
It have eaten 5 snails during 10 days.
I found no damage on shells of the eaten Trochulus and shells were completely clean inside (but with water).

Any hints how to see it hunting?

Oxychilus_draparnaudi_04