Photo of the day (29): Merdigera obscura

Merdigera obscura is a terrestrial snail in the family Enidae living from western Europe to Uzbekistan. It has a great scientific name.

Its generic name Merdigera is derived from a French word “merde”, that means faeces and from a Latin word “gerō”, that means bearer. Its specific name obscura is derived from a French word “obscur” and from a Latin word “obscūrus”, that means obscure and probably originally means “over” + “covered”.

Its shell is really covered with faeces and with mud. It serves as a camouflage.

Merdigera obscuraMerdigera obscuraMerdigera obscuraMerdigera obscura Merdigera obscura Merdigera obscura Merdigera obscuraFew other snails from the same family Enidae actively add a camouflage on its shell. For example Napaeus barquini use live lichens.

References:

Allgaier C. (2007). “Active Camouflage with Lichens in a Terrestrial Snail, Napaeus (N.) barquini Alonso and Ibáñez, 2006 (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Enidae)“. Zoological Science 24(9): 869-876. doi:10.2108/zsj.24.869.

Horsák M., Juřičková L. & Picka J. 2013: Měkkýši České a Slovenské republiky. Molluscs of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Kabourek, Zlín, 264 pp. (in Czech and English). page 82.

gero. Wiktionary, accessed 16 July 2014.

obscure. Wiktionary, accessed 16 July 2014.

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