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Slug This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources. March Gastropods that lack a conspicuous shell are commonly called slugs rather than snails.
Other than that there is little morphological difference between slugs and snails. There are however important differences in habitats and behavior. A shell-less animal is much more maneuverable and compressible, so even quite large land slugs can take advantage of habitats or retreats with very little space, retreats that would be inaccessible to a similar-sized snail.
Slugs squeeze themselves into confined spaces such as under loose bark on trees or under stone slabs, logs or wooden boards lying on the ground. In such retreats they are in less danger from either predators or desiccation, and often those also are suitable places for laying their eggs.
Slugs as a group are far from monophyletic ; biologically speaking "slug" is a term of convenience with little taxonomic significance. The reduction or loss of the shell has evolved many times independently within several very different lineages of gastropods.
The various taxa of land and sea gastropods with slug morphology occur within numerous higher taxonomic groups of shelled species; such independent slug taxa are not in general closely related to one another.
Human relevance This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. March Helix aspersa — garden snail Land snails are known as an agricultural and garden pest but some species are an edible delicacy and occasionally household pets. In agriculture There are a variety of snail-control measures that gardeners and farmers use in an attempt to reduce damage to valuable plants.
Traditional pesticides are still used, as are many less toxic control options such as concentrated garlic or wormwood solutions. Copper metal is also a snail repellent, and thus a copper band around the trunk of a tree will prevent snails from climbing up and reaching the foliage and fruit.
Placing crushed egg shells on the soil around garden plants can also deter snails from coming to the plants.
However, this is not without problems, as the decollate snail is just as likely to attack and devour other gastropods that may represent a valuable part of the native fauna of the region. The practice of rearing snails for food is known as heliciculture. For purposes of cultivation, the snails are kept in a dark place in a wired cage with dry straw or dry wood.
Coppiced wine-grape vines are often used for this purpose. The snails are then prepared for cooking. Their texture when cooked is slightly chewy. As well as being relished as gourmet food, several species of land snails provide an easily harvested source of protein to many people in poor communities around the world.
Many land snails are valuable because they can feed on a wide range of agricultural wastes, such as shed leaves in banana plantations. In some countries, giant African land snails are produced commercially for food.
In certain parts of the world, snails are fried. For example, in Indonesiathey are fried as sataya dish known as sate kakul. The eggs of certain snail species are eaten in a fashion similar to the way caviar is eaten. In Bulgariasnails are traditionally cooked in an oven with rice or fried in a pan with vegetable oil and red paprika powder.
Before they are used for those dishes, however, they are thoroughly boiled in hot water for up to 90 minutes and manually extracted from their shells. The two species most commonly used for food in the country are Helix lucorum and Helix pomatia.
Famine food Snails and slug species that are not normally eaten in certain areas have occasionally been used as famine food in historical times. A history of Scotland written in the s recounts a description of various snails and their use as food items in times of plague.
A research study suggested that secretions produced under stress by Helix aspersa might facilitate regeneration of wounded tissue.Response by Pest Shield, Inc.: Thank you again for your Trust in Pest Shield to protect your family and home against unwanted pests.
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