Saturday 3 December 2016

New twist as romance beckons for Jeremy the lefty snail

Published 08/11/2016 | 14:31

Two potential mates have been lined up for a lonely snail after a scientist appealed to the public to help find a partner for the mollusc whose shell spirals in the wrong direction
Two potential mates have been lined up for a lonely snail after a scientist appealed to the public to help find a partner for the mollusc whose shell spirals in the wrong direction
Snails Lefty (on top) and Jeremy (Picture: University of Nottingham)

Two potential mates have been lined up for a lonely snail after a scientist appealed to the public to help find a partner for the mollusc whose shell spirals in the wrong direction.

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The common garden snail, named Jeremy, may appear like others to the naked eye, but he was dubbed a "one in a million find" as he is the mirror image of how other snails appear.

Jeremy's shell spirals in an anti-clockwise direction which means he is unable to mate with snails whose shells spiral the opposite way.

Angus Davison, from the University of Nottingham, launched an appeal last month to find a "lefty" mate for Jeremy to discover more about the creature's genetics.

Following the #snaillove campaign on social media, two potential mates have come forward - one in Suffolk and another which was saved by a restaurant worker who was scrubbing shells at a restaurant in Majorca.

Dr Davison said: "Following the call that we put out to find another rare lefty snail as a partner for Jeremy, I was amazed at the response from the general public, but hardly dared hope that it would actually work.

"In the end, we found not one but two other rare lefty snails, one in Suffolk and another (called) Tomeu in Spain. Both of the finders must have very keen eyes in spotting what is a very rare condition."

Jade Sanchez Melton, who is from Suffolk and has a fascination with snails, said she discovered her snail, named Lefty, climbing a tree.

She added: "I am going to be fascinated to see whether breeding these two snails will result in more 'lefties' or whether their offspring will feature the more common clockwise-coiling shells."

Jeremy has travelled to Ipswich to meet Lefty and the couple will be observed for around two weeks to see if they mate.

Press Association

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