Thursday, May 13, 2010

Asian horn snail / Japanese false cerith
Batillaria attramentaria

Eww! What are those things? Listen here, I'm generally not a squeamish person, save for slimy, crawly maggots... unless I'm raising flies to feed mantids, but that's a story for another time. For some reason these mud snails really gross me out. They're similar to our native horn snails (Cerithidea californica), but hail from Japan. Simply based on the massive numbers shown above, I'm guessing these are the invasive species. Click on the common names above for more information on local research.


biobabbler said...

=) I find some things which individually can be appealing can be icky en masse. Like when I dropped a shirt to swim, came back and a HUGE swarm of THOUSANDS of (individually charming) lady bugs had covered my shirt and adjoining vegetation. A little icky.

I TOTALLY hear you re: maggots. I've relocated rattlesnakes (beautiful), happily approach giant spiders, love bats, have handled 10,000 mice and rats, cleaned dirty chicken butts, but maggots?

I'll never study Diptera.

Nature ID said...

Hmmm... Interesting. I know you're somewhere in the Sierras. What time of year was this lady beetle swarm on your (possibly wet) shirt? I've heard about it in the literature, but I've never seen it for myself.

biobabbler said...

Oh, this was 10,000,000 years ago, probably in San Luis Obispo County, visiting folks and hiking. There were lots and lots of these guys nearby, just not where my shirt was until... =) Yeah, it's freaky.

Also, last week during field work (bay area) I saw a tall fennel (or mustard?) plant totally dusty gray, completely covered with gray aphids. At first I thought it was a gray plant.