Reader’s photo of the month Lust der Weinbergschnecken –

Roman snails have always felt pretty comfortable in Ingrid Biermann and Christoph Hölscher’s wild garden. But that they can no longer hold back … “I caught them two in red-lightning on the garden stairs,” says Christoph Hölscher and laughs. A rare moment, even in such a snail paradise. Hölscher, a retired occupational therapist, quickly pulled out his cell phone and took a photo. “Not easy. I didn’t know how long they would meet. ”Because of the wild love game, the snails were a bit blurred – but here the quick shot wins at the right moment.

Roman snails are hermaphrodites. They produce both sperm and eggs. At the beginning of the sexual act, the snails crawl foot to foot and stimulate each other with about one centimeter long limestone tips – so-called love arrows. Both snails lay eggs a few weeks later.

Roman snails are active during the day and night, but avoid blazing sun. They feed on wilting plant residues and can reach a great age: Roman snails are over 30 years old in the laboratory. When fully grown, they can be up to ten centimeters long. The casing is made of lime and is usually twisted to the right. The rare snails with left-handed shells are called the “snail king”.

This photo was in the edition nature 10/21 released.

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