Well, yes is the answer to that one.
Yes they do.
The White lipped Snail uses Love Darts.
Today Fizz and I have been looking at Snails. There are few animals more closely associated with notions of love and romance than slugs and snails and quite rightly so, they are very romantic creatures.
Strangely for an animal that most people consider to be the ultimate “sexy beast” they are totally hermaphrodite and can reproduce without a partner but perhaps that is the very reason that they do make such considerate, passionate and bubbly lovers.
Going back a long way now, when I was fourteen years old I had a job on the building sites. There were no computers then and video hadn’t even been invented. Men on the sites would gather in a garage to watch “Blue Movies” on a projector screen. That was my first introduction to Sir David Attenborough and the Leopard Slug. You may still be able to find those old films, he used to have a blog that he called “The BBC.” Sir David made great slug porn and you should try and see it, they are fantastic lovers.
I suppose the Leopard Slug was my first mollusc love. I was very young.
But this isn’t a post about Sir David’s mucky movies or slugs this is a post about White Lipped Snails and Love Darts.
Love Darts are literally darts made out of calcium carbonate (The same stuff that snail shells are made out of and egg shells) that one snail throws at another prior to mating. The darts are quite big and can go right through one’s lover and come out the other side and they can also pierce vital organs. Snails have very poor eyesight and also very poor aim. Sometimes they miss the target completely.
I am not making this stuff up, it is true.
The darts are sterile, made of snail shell but they are covered in a mucus. It is not exactly clear what is going on here but the thought is….
Snails are both male and female and the mucus changes the hormonal balance of the partner in some way that is beneficial to the outcome. There is so much that Natural Science doesn’t really understand that makes the whole world beyond the likes of me. Snails are just a little part of the stuff we don’t get.