Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ah, the wonders of nature...

Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: ... and the joys of mollusk reproduction.

This morning I noticed one of our 2 aquarium snails out of the water again. Typically, this means eggs. For the first time, though, it was right under where the lid opens, and we could see what actually happens! Out came the tripod, and I took photos using both the 90mm macro lens and my usual 18-55mm lens. I even set up the video camera for a while, but I have to figure out how to modify it into something shorter that I can upload.

In this photo, you can see a new egg that has just emerged from under the shell. Undulating muscle then guide the egg up the snail's body, just under the ... skin? ... before laying it into the cluster.

This is the 6th batch of eggs the snails have laid since we got them (one of the clusters fell off from the underside of the lid, though). From what I've read, they take 2-4 weeks to hatch. At the time of this writing, 2 clusters have reached the 4 weeks mark. So far, we've had a successful hatching rate of 0%.

Which may well be a good thing!