Photo of Daedalochila auriculata, taken by John Slapcinsky


Interactions with Animals

While there is not much information for Daedalochila leporina (Polygyra leporina), there is information about the interactions of snails from the family Polygyridae in general.  One study conducted by Leroy W. Giles showed that snails from the family Polygyridae were present in 21.95 percent of the scats of the raccoons he observed (Giles, 1940).  Giles was studying raccoons in eastern Iowa, which is part of the area where polygyrids are found (Giles, 1940).  The short-tailed shrew also feeds on polygyrids, along with insects and mice (Hamilton, 1941).  Also based on the analysis of 460 stomachs of the short-tailed shrew throughout the years, it was found that mollusks, such as polygyrids, were present in 5.4 percent of the stomachs (Hamilton, 1941).  Small snails, such as polygyrids, are also eaten by deer mice (Hamilton, 1941). Another predator of polygyrids is the red-backed mouse (Hamilton, 1941)They eat the snails by gnawing a hole into the shell and drawing the body out (Hamilton, 1941).

Interactions with Humans

Snails, including those found in the family Polygyridae, have some very interesting interactions with humans.  Snails tend to feed on the garden vegetation found in the personal gardens of humans.  Humans have discovered different techniques in order to prevent snails from eating different plants grown in gardens.  Although some of these methods may kill the snails, the dead snails will still provide nutrition for predators who feed on snails. 

One of the most common procedures used is pouring a line of salt around the area of the plants.  Snails will avoid the salt because if the snails like moist environments and the salt causes the water inside the snail to move out of the body which in turn dehydrates the snail (Parry, 2011).  This can be compared how humans become dehydrated if they were to drink salt water if they were on a deserted island.  Another way to prevent snails from snacking on gardens is the use of beer traps.  First a small hole should be dug near slime trails (Parry, 2011).  Next a tin filled with beer should be inserted into the hole so that the snails can access the beer, but the tin should be deep enough in the center so that the snails cannot escape out of the tin (Parry, 2011).  The snails are attracted to the beer because they enjoy the yeast in it (Parry, 2011).  One of the last possible ways to prevent snails from trespassing in your garden is using copper wire.  If the snails come in contact with the copper they will receive a small shock and this will cause them to turn around and leave your plants alone (Parry, 2011).

Photo of a snail beer trap, taken by Marie Viljoen

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