Did you know Kings Park is home to a rare population of native land snails known as the scarp snail (Bothriembryon indutus)?
Usually they are found along the Darling Range under granite rocks. The population in the Kings Park bushland lives on the steep limestone escarpment that overlooks the Swan River.
The four antennae on the snail’s head are known as tentacles (!). The lower shorter pair which always point to the ground are for smelling and tasting. The top two tentacles are longer and have eyes on their tips that detect light.
During our hot dry summers they bury underground, sealing up their shell opening with a dried mucus barrier. This protects them from the scorching sun and hungry predators.
They pop out in winter when it rains, spending their time feeding, mating and laying eggs. The snails produce a lot of mucus to move and slide around. They are more active at night (nocturnal) and feed on decomposing plant matter.
They lay eggs which take around one month to hatch. The tiny hatchlings look like a mini version of the adult.
Predators include introduced black rats, birds and reptiles.
Thank you for this great information to Corey Whisson, Technical Officer (Molluscs) of WA Museum - and you can find out more about this native species at the WA Museum website. Now that you know all about the scarp snail, let’s make one for your letterbox!
What to do:
Step 1: Look at the photo of the scarp snail as inspiration.
Step 2: Find some cardboard that you can reuse like an egg carton or empty cereal box.
Step 3: Draw your snail body onto the cardboard.
Step 4: Cut out your scarp snail body. Be careful with scissors, they’re sharp.
Step 5: Find another piece of cardboard to draw your shell. Our team used a pizza base, but you could use a cereal box too.
Step 6: Draw your scarp snail shell onto the cardboard. Their shells are oval with a point at the end! Cut out your shell.
Step 7: Outline your design so you can see where to paint and colour.
Step 8: Paint or colour your snail shell. Ours look quite realistic, but you can go wild with colours and patterns if you wish.
Step 9: Add some eyes. Draw or stick something on the antennae for eyes. It could be googly eyes or whatever you have at home!
Step 10: Glue, tape or staple your shell and body together and BOOM – you have your very own scarp snail!
Make sure to check out the slideshow above to help with these steps!
- You can draw your snail body and shell in one piece of cardboard if you don’t have glue.
- When you are drawing your snail, look at the photo. How many antennae does the scarp snail have? What shape is its body and shell?
- You can colour your snail with whatever you have at home. Pencils, texters, paint or even leave it plain, it’s up to you!
- Maybe you can make your snail with materials that are waterproof, just in case it rains!
Share with us
We’d love to see your scarp snails attached to your letterbox!
Share your photos to the Kings Park Home Delivery Facebook group or use the hashtag #KingsParkHomeDelivery.