Viable Land Snail Eggs in a Bird Pellet

Mike G. Rutherford

Abstract


On 2 January, 2011 at my house in St. Augustine, Trinidad, I found a regurgitated bird pellet that was full of small snail shells (Fig. 1). The pellet was dissected and found to contain ten snail shells (average length 7 mm), three black seeds (average width 4 mm) and various insect body parts. The pellet was held together by a yellowish fibrous matter which I took to be fruit pulp. The snail shells were mostly intact and were identified as nine specimens of Allopeas micra (d’Orbigny, 1835) and one specimen of Huttonella bicolor (Hutton, 1834). The transparent nature of the A. micra shells showed that much of the snails soft body parts were still intact on the inside, however the foot and lower parts of the soft body had been destroyed. Two of the Allopeas examined had small white eggs visible in the body whorl of the shell.


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