We Love Darts

We have darts! Play with your friends or bring a team, we’d love to have you!

pring has arrived in the UK, which for many of us means it’s time to attend to our gardens. Here the common garden snail might seem to be nothing more than a pest, and a fairly uninteresting one at that labor law group ddwklaw.com. Yet the behaviour of these apparently simple animals can be surprisingly complex.

Courting garden snails – note the love-dart embedded in the body of the snail on the right.
Courting garden snails – note the love-dart embedded in the body of the snail on the right.
Eynar, via Wikipedia, CC 3.0
Take their mating behavior for example. Garden snails (Cornu aspersum) are simultaneous hermaphrodites; that is, they possess both male and female genitalia at the same time. One might expect this would make sex a simple affair, both participants wanting to exchange sperm to fertilise their eggs. Yet snail mating is complex and fractious.

It begins as two snails approach each other and engage in an hours-long mating dance. During the dance each snail attempts to manoeuvre into position to fire its secret weapon in the mating game; a love-dart.

1200px-Darts_in_a_dartboard