Did you know snails hibernate in order to escape harsh conditions in the winter, and sometimes in the summer as well? (Bourquin, 2000). 


Inflectarius edentatus is a snail that falls under the Class Gastropoda. However, since there is not much information regarding the specific species Inflectarius edentatus, most of the information below is true for the Gastropoda class in general.  Most terrestrial snails are hermaphrodites, which means they have both male and female reproductive parts (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2005). Therefore, Inflectarius edentatus can mate with anyone within its own species (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2005). Terrestrial gastropods will usually not have a larval stage and will therefore hatch into a juvenile adult, to undergo direct development (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2005).

 The age where snails are first able to reproduce varies, but it can take up to three years for some (Myers, 2008).  When snails are mature, they begin mating in early summer (Myers 2008).The mating ritual of two snails will occur for about two to twelve hours on average, using touching as their way of courting (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2005). After courting, they cover one another in slime they produce, then the pair will fertilize their eggs in the other (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2005). In order to mate, snails transfer their spermatophore to another snail through their genital pores (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2005). A snail can carry 100 eggs at once (BioExpedition, 2012). When the eggs are fertilized, they will grow inside the snail (BioExpedition, 2012).

The eggs then become covered in a gelatinous mass produced in the genital pore when they are ready to be deposited (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2005). These eggs are deposited in moist ground where there is plenty of shade, under the top layers of soil so they can safely develop (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2005). The average snail egg takes two to four weeks to develop (BioExpedition, 2012). Their main goal is to obtain calcium when they hatch, by eating their own egg or another’s egg to get nutrients and help its shell harden for protection. (BioExpedition, 2012). The snail’s shell will grow with the snail for the rest of its life, and the shell it is born will end up in the middle of it when it is fully grown (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2005).

Land snails tend to mate every month as long as they live in suitable conditions (BioExpedition, 2012). The most common reasons for snail mortality are predators eating young snails that are too slow to escape, or eggs getting washed away by rain and sprinklers (BioExpedition, 2012). Terrestrial snails live about 5 to 10 years on average. (Myers, 2008).


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