Definitions

decollate

Decollate snail

[dee-kol-it, dek-uh-lit]

The decollate snail (Rumina decollata) is a medium-sized predatory land snail, a species of terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk which is native to the Mediterranean region. It has been introduced into North America and other areas as biological control agent against the brown garden snail.

The decollate snail is a voracious predator, and feeds readily upon common garden snails and slugs and their eggs. The snail eats plant matter as well, but the damage it causes to plants is considered minor when compared with the benefit of its predation on garden snails and other pest species of snails. Unfortunately it will also consume harmless local species of land gastropods and beneficial annelids.

The shell of the decollate snail is long and roughly cone-shaped. It grows to approximately 40 mm in length, and upon reaching mature size, grinds or chips off the end of its own shell by moving its body roughly against hard surfaces, so that the shell takes on a decollate shape, tapering to a blunt end.

Decollate snails are tolerant of dry and cold conditions, during which they burrow deep into the soil. They are most active during the night and during rainfall.

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