Snails are among those animal groups everybody knows. After rain snails can be seen crawling around on bushes, trees, walls and roads at a proverbially slow pace.
The Roman snail (Helix pomatia) is the most common and well known snail species in Europe. This largest European native snail can be found especially in bushes besides roads or on the wood front, where it crawl around mostly in the cool evening hours. If we take a closer look we also find snails on tree trunks in the forest, under decaying wood, on walls and rocks faces. Snails can also be found in settlements and gardens. That is where snails and especially the large slugs are regarded with much less sympathy, as they may inflict noticeable damage to vegetable and flower beds.
Other species, among them notably the Roman snail, generally are picked and eaten. The history of snails as human food can be retraced as far as to prehistoric times. Especially when food was rare peasants are said to have relied on the collecting of snails. Today, to be able to rise and sell snails in an economically feasible way, it is necessary to establish a snail farm, in French also referred to as Héliciculture.
Altogether there are estimated to be as many as 43.000 species of snails, which is about 78 percent of all molluscs that not only live on land. Snails with a recognisable spiral shell can also be found in rivers, ponds and other fresh water bodies.
In the sea, there are snails as well, as on land. There are snails on coastal rock faces, on the ocean floor in various depths, on coral reefs, and even on sea floor hot vents, where steaming hot water emerges into the sea.
Our snail farm is working with the Roman Snail. That's why we talk especially about the Roman Snail on this Homepage.
Roman Snail: Helix pomatia
Spherical bulbous shell with 5 - 6 rounded whorls. Height: 30 - 50 mm. Aperture rim rounded and curved back to form an apertural lip. Umbilicus tiny, covered by columellar apertural lip. Shell creamy white in colour, dark longitudinal band sometimes hardly visible. Shell surface with distinct lateral growth stripes.
An inhabitant of open hedges, bushes and forest rims on ground rich in lime. Avoids exposed areas strongly shone by the sun and dark forest areas. Sometimes synanthropic in gardens and farms, also rarely in vineyards. In the Alps as occurring as high as 2000 m above sea level.
Central and Southeast Europe: From Central France and Southern England in the West as far as Belarus and Western Ukraine in the East, Northern Italy in the South, Macedonia in the Southeast.
Roman Snail (Helix pomatia)
Roman Snail with young Snail
Roman Snail (Helix Pomatia)