the perils of snailhood

the perils of snailhood

Observation - the perils of snailhood - UK and Ireland. Description: When I first saw the snail, I thought that it had unusual eye stalks but I noticed that they were pulsating in a somewhat un-snaillike fashion and so a closer inspection revealed that the small snail (the shell is about 10mm long) was harbouring two larva

When I first saw the snail, I thought that it had unusual eye stalks but I noticed that they were pulsating in a somewhat un-snaillike fashion and so a closer inspection revealed that the small snail (the shell is about 10mm long) was harbouring two larvae - rather like blowfly larvae). While they seem to invade the eyestalks most of the time they can retreat into the body cavity (photos 2 and 3). I first noticed the animals on the 15th. and it/they was still 'alive' on the 17th. I'm quite familiar with nematodes in molluscs and the local slugs do seem to be quite infested towards the end of the year but I've never noticed such large parasites before. In this particular location there are no large snails (10-15 mm is about the limit), a bit too acid, I imagine and so slugs, of several species, predominate.