Snail is one of the many animals belonging to the class Gastropoda and having a slimy coiled shell. There are various types of snails in Nigeria that are distinguished by their various specific features. Some certain features make one species of snail different from other species. The possibility of being able to easily distinguish between snails is low but this can be done confidently when proper attention is paid to the details.
The visible features in snails are; Columella, Lip, Suture, Pinnacle, Whorls, Parietal wall, and Spire. The various snail types are grouped into; land snails, sea snails, and freshwater snails.
Types Of Snails In Nigeria
- Sea Snails
- Land Snails
- Freshwater Snails
Sea snails are not different from the land snails and the freshwater snails since they are also shelled gastropods. They can also be called Marine snails or Prosobranchs. The sea snails are known for their soft, flexible body and their conical or spiral shells. The sea snails have thousands of species with varying feeds. Few of the sea snails are carnivorous and feed on smaller marine animals while more than half of the sea snails feed on algae, corals, plankton, and flora traces. There are various means of respiration for different species of sea snails; some breath through their gills while others inhale oxygen through their primitive lungs.
This species of snail is popularly regarded as the ‘magic cone’ and is found in the Pacific and Indigo oceans. This species of sea snail possesses a poisonous sting. The conotoxins of the sea snails have 50,000 different components. The medicinal benefit of the Conus Magus is that the poison components are extracted and used in the production of pain-relieving drugs for cancer and HIV patients.
This species of sea snail is also referred to as Common Limpet. The Patella Vulgata is indigenous to the waters of the western part of Europe. This type of sea snail is usually found trapped in shallow waters and rocky shores. This is one of the most consumed snail species.
The Buccinum Undatum is also referred to as the Common Whelk. The common whelk is indigenous to the surrounding waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It stays in habitats with a temperature that is roughly 29 degrees Celsius. This snail dries out when exposed to air due to its non-tolerance for air.
This species of sea snail is known as Abalone. Abalones are indigenous to the waters surrounding Sao Tome and Principe in Africa. This species of snails are part of the Haliotidae family. The Abalones have an oval spiraling shell and usually stick to rocks. These snails feed on algae and plankton.
The Littorina Littorea is known as the Common Periwinkle. The common periwinkle is abundantly indigenous to the Atlantic Ocean precisely around North America and Western Europe. These snails have spiraled smooth shells. They can be found beneath boats and on rocks.
The land snails have a soft body which is more obvious than that of the marine snails. Most of the species of the land snails breathe through their lungs while few of them breathe through their gills. Even though they are regarded as terrestrial snails they do depend on moisture to survive. They secrete mucus which functions in lubricating their body and permits easy locomotion through any surface, either rough or smooth. Another characteristic of the land snail is that they have small tentacles on their heads and a primitive brain is not also excluded.
The Helix Promatia is also referred to as the Roman snail or Burgundy snail. It is a well-known garden snail that is found in almost all parts of Europe. The height of this snail can reach 4cm and it has varying brown tones. This snail is herbivorous in nature and only feeds on leaves, fruits, flowers, and sap. This snail is well known as edible.
The Helix Aspersa is referred to as the Garden snail. This snail is common all over the world and can be found in the following regions; Oceania, North America, South America, and part of the British. Just as the name implies, the snail can be found in gardens and is naturally herbivorous. This snail is considered a threat to humans due to its attacks on crops. It is eliminated with the use of pesticides.
This snail is indigenous to Kenya and the Coast of Tanzania. The Achatina Fulica can also be found in hot humid areas around the world. The snail is between 10-30 centimeters in height. A visible feature of the snail is the yellow and brown stripes present on the shell. This snail is found active at night.
This snail is also referred to as the Decollate snail. The Rumina Decollata can be found in the following regions; some parts of Africa, North America, and Europe. Being a naturally carnivorous snail, it is used in attacking pests. They are also active at night.
The Otala Punctata snail is indigenous to the south of Spain, many countries of South America, Algeria, and the United States. A visible feature of the snail is the spiral shell and white dots. The Otala Punctata is a herbivore.
Most of the freshwater snails are the aquarium snails that are used as pets. There are several hundreds of varying species of freshwater snails. They are found in lakes, lagoons, and rivers.
The Potamopyrgus Antipodarum is also referred to as the New Zealand Mud Snail. This snail is indigenous to New Zealand, Europe, and North America. A visible feature of the snail is the long shell and the expiration which varies between gray and white.
The Pomacea canaliculata is also referred to as the Golden Apple Snail and is one of the popular aquarium snails. The snail is endemic to freshwaters in faraway Japan, Australia, and India.
The Leptoxis plicata is also referred to as the Plicata Rocksnail. This snail is indigenous to the United States. A change in the natural habitat of the snail could threaten its existence.
This snail is endemic to the fresh waters of Spain. This snail has recordings in 63 various locations. The pollution and exploitation of the natural habitat of this snail is a threat to its existence.
This species of snail is indigenous to the freshwater of Herault Valley. The number of existing species of this snail is unknown.
Snail farming is a form of self-employment which can help to conquer hunger and poverty. Snail farming is a very good source of income but it is a neglected farming practice in Nigeria. There is a huge increase in the demand for snail in the country but there is a short supply of it.
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