Wednesday, 3 July 2013

White-lipped

Just a shorter walk this morning, but a rewarding one as we spotted a rather beautiful little snail.  Related to the more commonly seen Brown-lipped Snail, this is a White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis).
The patterning on the shell of these colourful gastropods varies quite widely, but the White-lipped part of its name refers to the edge of the shell opening, where the animal emerges.  In the more common Brown-lipped variety, the edge of the shell is (obviously) brown.  In this one however, there is no brown band, just a pale edge to the shell.
Back home and the last thing you want to see on your garden plants are snails, particularly when they are in bloom like these Pansies in the sunshine on our patio.
What you DO want to see are Butterflies and this little beauty was spotted a few days ago close to home.  It s a Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) and like other Skippers, is identifiable by its habit of holding the fore wings at an angle to the hind wings, where other butterflies tend to keep all four wings flat together.  Despite its drab, brown colour, it remains a delightful little insect.
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