White-lipped Snail - Cepaea hortensis, click for a larger image
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White-lipped Snail
behind a Small Garden Snail
Click any photo for a larger image
White-lipped Snail - Cepaea hortensis, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
Photo ©2014 - Charlesjsharp

White-lipped Snail - Cepaea hortensis
Family - Helicidae

The White-lipped snail is a medium-sized species of air-breathing land snail, a reasonably small snail with a shell of around 25mm (1in) wide by 15mm (0.6in) high, found in wet and damp habitats, woods, dunes, grassland and gardens, it is often found in dense vegetation.  Common and widespread in Britain but mainly coastal in Scotland.  It has a glossy smooth shell, typically yellow or cream but may be pink, brown or red, with up to five dark spiral dark bands and white edge to the aperture.  The body of the snail is usually greenish-grey becoming yellow towards the rear.  There is also a mutated version of the snail that results in a yellow shell with no banding or markings.  The White-lipped snail lives for about four years.

Native to western and central Europe, it is an intentionally introduced species to the Northeastern United States as an addition to many outdoor gardens, it is a close relative of the Grove Snail - Cepaea nemoralis.  Preferred food plants include Nettles, Ragwort and Hogweed.  Although these snails posses both male ♂ and female ♀ organs (hermaphroditic), and are capable of self reproduction, they usually mate with another snail between spring and autumn, producing small batches of milky white coloured eggs about 2mm (0.08in) in diameter.

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