muller 1

I know it's Saturday morning and time for breakfast in bed for us Monday to Friday workers, but just look at this lazy creature who can't be bothered to stretch out from under the duvet. He hasn't even got his antennae fully extended - just peeping to see where the food is and trying to slide towards it without using too much energy.

We've got two different strains of the same species of snail. We call them mullers and maximas. The little chap in that first picture is a muller looking like the snails you might find in the garden but with a white mantle and pale body:

muller 2

This is what Helix aspersa muller looks like from underneath. The mantle is the very important organ which appears like a rim round the body. It secretes the shell and lines the inside of the shell.

Contrast that with this maxima:

maxima

This one is Helix aspersa maxima which has a black mantle. This snail is hibernating so there is a white rim but it is the edge of the shell not the mantle.

Both maxima and muller are for sale in the online shop.

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