Watercolors painted by Rotund Disc Snails (Discus rotundatus) catalogue their gentle movements and subconsciously remind all of us to slow down and enjoy life’s passage. As a soil and leaf litter inhabiting snail, our snail artists were collected while weeding the red raspberry patch at Blossom Meadow Farm in Southold, NY. No snails were hurt in the process of making the art. Turner Artists’ Water Colors and 140LB water color paper were used. After painting, the snails were gently washed off and escorted to their snartist lounge (a mason jar), and released back to the farm to resume their regular snail life at the end of the day. (Click to see the snails painting on YouTube). Northforker Magazine recently gave our snails their time in the limelight! (the video is very Portlandia….will surely make you laugh….click here to see it).
Get in on the abstract expressionism craze by purchasing an original signed and framed piece of snail art OR SnailMail™ Blank Note Cards with Envelopes (five-card variety pack).
The Rotund Disc Snail is a small non-native snail with a flattened disc-shaped shell. The snail lays her eggs in humid, sheltered places, preferably on substratum that will later serve as a food source for her hatchlings (e.g., bits of bark, decaying leaves under trees). The incubation period ranges from 10-36 days; juveniles hatch initially with 1.5-2.3 whorls, growing at a rate of 0.5 whorls per month. Maturity is reached in the second season at 5.5 whorls. The life span of the Rotund Disc Snail is 2.5-3.5 years. All snails employed had 4+ whorls in order to get the most expressive brush strokes.
Since the Rotund Disc Snail mainly ingests plant debris, humus, algae and fungi, it is one of the few land snails introduced to North America that is not regarded as a pest (because it does eat live plants). Snails cycle nutrients up the food chain (calcium in particular). A lot of birds rely on snails for their dietary needs. In fact, thrushes are not able to lay viable eggs when they don’t get enough snails in their diet. Female turkeys eat up to 30% more snails before they lay their clutches of eggs.