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Friday, July 22, 2011
An Alien Snail, Yes Really
It's been so hot that I've gone swimming three times this week. There's a nice little inland lake about three miles from me. It's Hackert Lake. Loretta and I went for a dip on Tuesday, and then I went yesterday and today.
There were quite a few floating snail shells. I had to fake this picture, because I couldn't swim with the camera, and it doesn't really give the effect. What they looked like was large brown bubbles- not a lot of them, but just one here, and one there. I had to pick one up to discover it was a shell (empty).
Maybe some of you already know what this is, but I had to look it up. This is a Chinese Mystery Snail, Viviparus malleatus. The reason you might know, while I don't, is that if you have an aquarium, these are really popular to clean the tanks of algae.
It's alien, not as "from another planet," but as "doesn't belong in the wild here." There is a native Viviparus, but it's Viviparus georgianus, and it has bands that go around the shell, instead of lengthwise stripes.
However, I couldn't find any information that said they were becoming a problem where they have become naturalized, so that is good.
Some child found a good use for one- to decorate a castle!