Thursday, August 26, 2010


A nationwide hunt was launched today for a tiny Mediterranean snail which has turned up in the UK after stowing away on stonework imported as Victorian "bling" more than a hundred years ago.

The snail, which has no English name, hitched a ride from Europe on statues, rocks and brickwork in the 19th century – but remained hidden from naturalists until recently.

It was discovered at the National Trust's Cliveden estate in Buckinghamshire by volunteers cleaning statues in the gardens in 2008.

The snail, Papillifera bidens, was thought to have arrived on a balustrade from the Villa Borghese in Rome in 1896, and with suitably snail-paced progress seems to have taken more than a hundred years to reach stonework 60 yards away.


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