June 9th, 2009

Rest in Peace, Spike

Rest in Peace, Spike

This morning I woke up to find Spike my garlic snail (Oxychilus alliarius) dead in the terrarium. He'd been deeply retracted for the past couple of days, so I figured he was probably getting to the end of his lifespan and I'd be likely to find him passed away any day soon. But it was still a shock to find him this morning drowned in the terrarium's little water dish. D. figures he crawled into the dish overnight for some reason and was too weak to get back out.

Hee's a pic of Spike next to a pumpkin seed, to give a sense of scale.

Spike was the great-grandchild of my first garlic snail Gilroy. I named him Spike because he would eat my garden snail Buster's infertile egg clutches. Every time Buster would lay a clutch, Spike would disappear for a couple of days, and then reappear looking a bit bigger and more robust than he did before, and Buster's eggs nowhere to be found. I could almost see Spike licking his little snaily chops upon reemerging. I thought for such a tiny snail he was a tough customer, holding his own against 2 other snails 3 times his size, and Spike seemed like an apt name for him.

Garlic snails are said to emit a garlic-like odor when feeling threatened, but I never smelled it.

Rest in peace, Spike.