Photo of the day (61): Ena montana

Ena montana is a species of a common land snail with Central European, Alpine and Carpathian distribution. It belong to the family Enidae. It is similar to Merdigera obscura, but they differ in size. Ena montana reach shell length up to 16 mm, while Merdigera obscura can grown up to 9 mm only.

Left side view of Ena montana crawling on a calcareous rock:

Ena montanaIt is the only species of Ena occurring in Central Europe. Other Ena species live in southern Europe.

My specimen comes from Velká Fatra Mountains, Slovakia. I have taken the photo in situ on a calcareous rock in the forest. But they also inhabits humid habitats in forests in lowlands.

It feeds mainly on living algae, sometimes on dead higher plants and rarely also on lichens.

References:

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

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 32 and 82.

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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.