Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Species spotlight VI

Xerocrassa meda (Porro, 1840)
Santa Venera, Malta

One of the commonest snails in Maltese gardens is this medium-sized species that apparently does not mind living in human-influenced habitats, actually preferring cultivated patches to the Mediterranean garigue so beloved of its other relatives. It might have originally been a Maltese and South-Sicilian endemic, eventually spreading to other Mediterranean islands by human intervention.

X. meda is one of two species in the genus Xerocrassa in Malta, which is sometimes treated as a synonym of Trochoidea, but which actually presents anatomical differences from that genus and is herein treated separately following the AnimalBase entry.

Shell identification

  • 6-8mm
  • pale brown or cream colour with darker bracket-shaped stripes
  • aperture with a slight pinkish colour
  • umbilicus pin-point shaped

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