Just Another Nature Enthusiast

JANE’s Images & Thoughts 🌲 Inspired by the Pacific Northwest & places I wander

Robust Lancetooth

Robust Lancetooth
Garden snails eat plants. Right?

Not always…

There is one in our nature habitat/ garden that is a carnivore. Can you believe that? I was very surprised to learn about the Robust Lancetooth Snail (Haplotrema vancouverense).

This snail feasts on other snails. The name Lancetooth is inspired by the calcium carbonate spike they use to stab another snail. Once the other creature is punctured, the Robust Lancetooth follows the slimy trail. After its victim dies, the Lancetooth devours it. The same technique is also applied to small slugs and earthworms. Quite fascinating. It is appealing to think that this little snail could help keep the slugs at bay… without the use of chemicals!

Moral of the story: not all garden snails are pests. Some might be helpful.

I thought it appropriate to add this little post because several folks posted photos of snails in the “Weekly Photo Challenge” this week (including me).   http://just-another-nature-enthusiast.org/2014/05/10/on-the-move-naturally/

4 comments on “Robust Lancetooth”

  1. Thanks for this informative post, with gardening in full swing I’m getting acquainted with the various critters to watch out for. I now know to support this species in it’s pursuit.

  2. You’re welcome!
    Just happened across an entry in “Insect of the Pacific Northwest” (Haggard & Haggard) and was happy to see the statement:

    “Since this snail preys on other snails, it is considered a friend to gardeners.”

    I wonder if folks would be less eager to sprinkle slug bait if they knew about the Robust Lancefoot.

  3. The ducks seem to take care of most of the slugs, and weak beer in a pan slows the rest of them down long enough for me to catch them…

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