"If we and the rest of the backboned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the land's ecosystems would collapse."
David Attenborough

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...

Well, I've had a few complaints that its been over a month since the last post- not a good look for a weekly blog! Apologies for my tardyness. I've been busy overseas with less internet access than I anticipated. If its any consolation I had a few mollusc-related encounters while away which will lead to some cool posts in the future.
That promised post on mollusc intelligence is still in gestation. In the meantime...

On my return to glorious Central Australia the weather greeted me with 3 days of cloud and rain. Although temperatures were low there was some nocturnal snail activity around Alice Springs, including one of my favourite local desert pulmonates; the beautiful Blue Horned Snail Pleuroxia adcockiana. Little has been written about this animal but in one text it is given the common name 'Adcock's Land Snail', derived from the latin name no doubt. As is oft the case with desert snails few people have seen them alive in the wild. On viewing this species in action I am always struck by its unusual body colouring. I took this video last year and it is possibly the first ever of any 'Pleuro'. It really shows the animal at its best- nice shell sculpture, milky white body and those long blue tentacles.

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