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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Striped barrels

Back on 12 November 2014, I showed an egg mass from a local snail that lives on the tidal flats in Bodega Harbor a Striped Barrel Snail (Rictaxis punctocaelatus).  

In that post, I mentioned that I had found the egg masses, but I hadn't found an adult snail yet.  That was true until December 4.  Once I learned how to see the adult snails, I realized that they're common to abundant in Bodega Harbor this year. 

Although most of the snails were buried just below the surface of the sand, here's an example of one that was crawling on the surface:

I've been doing shorebird surveys in Bodega Harbor for over 10 years now.  I hadn't encountered these snails until this year, so I'm wondering if there's something unusual about the conditions this year (or whether I just missed them if they weren't as common and I didn't know how to look for them).

But if you'd like to see some of these intriguing snails, this would be a good year to look for them in Bodega Harbor!

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