Monday, July 13, 2015

Sabino Secret

Photo by Matt Ball 7/5/2015

Yes, there are snails in the hills! In David Wentworth Lazaroff's book Sabino Canyon: The Life of a Southwestern Oasis, you'll find his very similar photo on page 39. On this same page, David writes:

Dwelling inconspicuously among the fallen boulders that litter the slopes is a fascinating but little-known animal named for this canyon, a snail called the Sabino sonorella. Living sonorellas are rarely seen, as they spend most of their time hidden beneath the rocks, emerging at dusk in wet weather to feed on lichens, mosses, and decaying vegetation. Empty shells found in the open are evidence that feeding snails are often ambushed by predators, and a shell's condition is a clue to the predator's identity. Small rodents bite holes through the tops of shells to extract the snails, but carnivorous beetles and the voracious larvae enter through the front door, leaving the shells intact. 

If you don't already have this book, you can purchase a copy in the visitor center bookstore.

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