There was an exhibition of live invertebrates in Botanical garden of Charles University in Prague in June 2018. The exhibition was named “Big exhibition of invertebrates”. It deserve such name. It focus on invertebrates from the Czech Republic and there were numerous of them.
There were also number of visitors. I liked to see visitor’s faces when they became surprised by the size or appearance of some animals. Children are always fascinated by animals. Also adults were fascinated by insect and other invertebrates which they never seen before. It was common to hear parents saying things like this to children: “These caterpillars are so cool!!! I have to take a photo of you with them!” And so on.
Molluscs are also invertebrates so there were some freshwater bivalves and freshwater gastropods and land gastropods:
There was also an interesting species associated with gastropods. There were the following Succinea putris amber snails crawling on a Petri dish:
Two Succinea putris snails. Each of them has one Leucochloridium paradoxum in the left tentacle.
There is a parasite inside the tentacle of these snails. The parasite is a trematode species with the name Leucochloridium paradoxum. They have a life cycle with the intermediate host like other trematodes. The intermediate host of Leucochloridium paradoxum are Succinea snails. When the snail eat a dropping from an infected bird, the parasite will start to grow in the snail’s body. The parasite extends a part of its body into a tentacle of the snail. Then the tentacle looks like a caterpillar and it is pulsating to attract attention of birds. When a trust bird (family Turdidae) will eat the infected snail, the life cycle is complete.
It was the third year of this exhibition and I highly recommend to visit it next time.
Velká výstava bezobratlých 2018
Oxyloma elegans is a hygrophilous land snail from the family Succineidae. Oxyloma elegans inhabits water margins on sunny places with cattail Typha sp. or with other plants. This looks like a great locality for Oxyloma elegans, because it it sunny, the habitat with water margin is large and it has suitable plants:
Some dead plants on the water margin:
Detail of the debris:
There are visible many Oxyloma elegans snails among the remnants of dead plants. More than 15 snails are visible on the same place on the photo. All of them are Oxyloma elegans. The sandpit is quite new and there were no freshwater snails yet and there were no other wetland snail species. Other succineids such as Succinea putris did not invaded the locality yet and Oxyloma elegans occupied all suitable places there.
Left side view of Oxyloma elegans in situ:
Left side view in the lab:
Right side view in the lab:
Top view in the lab:
View of the foot in the lab:
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 65.