Specimen of the Month

Garden (or Edible) Snail,Għakrux Raġel, Cantareus aspersus

The first autumn rains awaken a myriad of animal species which had spent the hot summer months sleeping in the shade of a bush or boulder or simply by digging in the soil. Some species are minuscule while others are more evident. None is more evident than the Common Garden Snail. This is one of several species of land snails present in the Maltese islands. The Common Garden Snail is the largest species of terrestrial snail occurring in the Maltese islands.  This species is edible and bebbux bl-arjoli (boiled snails in garlic dip) is a favorite local delicacy. It is often regarded simply as a pest in gardens and to agriculture, especially where it has been accidentally introduced. It is native to the Mediterranean area and Western Europe, but has been spread by humans, both deliberately and accidentally, to various countries around the world. The National Museum of Natural History holds examples of this species in the Conchological Collection. 

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