Snails are slugs with social security, really. Lugging around their vulnerability reduction assets around. Pity it does so little against parasites.
I dread the day when new breeds of parasites fail to shock us. We found this little snail on top of a windblown peak in the rainforests of Coorg last monsoon, slowly making its way up a desolate stretch of wet rock.
This particular snail seems to have suffered the misfortune of picking up a few larvae along the way somewhere. At best, these larvae are like little leeches, sucking the lifeforce out of the snail until dropping off, fat and satisfied. At worst, these are larvae that’ll force their way into the poor critter, hijack its admittedly primitive brain and use it like a puppet. (I wish I was exaggerating here. The latter video is not for the faint of heart.)
So remember, kids. The next time you visit leech country, compassion is key. These snails have leeches of their own and few repellents at hand. With fewer hands to use them.
Metadata Sony Cybershot DSC-W30. ISO 80. f/2.8 at 1/60 second (Inset: 1/100 second). Edited using Picasa 3.8 and MS Powerpoint 2007.
Taken in July 2010 near Tadiandamol in the Western Ghats in Coorg, Karnataka, India.