A selection of some of the most common snails to be found in the UK
Click on any photograph to see a larger image, together with relevant information (if available)
Snail reproduction: All snails are hermaphrodites, which means that they possess both male and female reproductive organs. Despite this they still need to find another snail to mate with. When two snails meet during the breeding season (late spring or early summer), mating is initiated by one snail piercing the skin of the other snail with a calcified 'love dart'. The exact purpose of the 'love dart' is not fully understood but it seems to stimulate the other snail into exchanging small packets of sperm. After mating is complete the snails will produce eggs internally, which are fertilised by the sperm that has been exchanged. Up to about a month after mating the snail lays about a hundred small white eggs in a nest underground in damp soil. If the conditions remain suitable for the eggs, snails will begin to hatch after about 14 days. Newly hatched snails have a small fragile shell and it takes two years for them to reach maturity.