Cave Explorers Stumble Upon A See Through Snail

Our world is full of wonders and each day is a new one. Just recently, a new species of a snail that is translucent was discovered by cave explorers. This wondrous creature was found 3000 ft. under the ground in a Croatian Cave. This cave is a part of the Lukina Jama-Trojama cave systems, which is on the list of the twenty deepest cave systems in the world. The explorers were on a mission to measure the depth of the cave when it came across this snail. The team came across eight empty shells of this new species and also found one live specimen.


Once the snail was brought back and shown to taxonomist Alexander Weigand at Goethe-University in Frankfurt, Germany, it was ascertained that the explorers had found a new species that wasn’t known to man earlier. It has been learnt that this particular species of snail moves slower than regular snails. Well, when you are 3000 ft. below the ground you really aren’t in a hurry to get anywhere. While elaborating on this matter Weigrand was quoted as saying “”they only creep a few millimeters or centimeters a week, and mainly in circles, grazing at one point where they live”.

Weigrand has also concluded that these snails in all probability hitch a ride on other cave animals or ride on water currents. So that leaves them very little work to do as far as moving on their own is concerned.  Zospeum tholussum as this new species has been christened was luckily found because the explorers decided to collect any specimen they could while they were exploring the cave. The idea behind this was that often new kinds of species are discovered in such deep underground caves.


According to the Journal of Subterranean Biology, these species of snails prefer “wet subterranean microhabitats”, which is why they are generally found in drainage systems of caves. Also, fresh shells or those of living specimen are usually translucent, but the older ones adopt a milky white color. The only living specimen that was recovered was found in large chamber with a depth of 980 m and there was a stream running close to site from where it was collected. This gives credence to the fact that this snail rides on water currents. Scientists in the future are expecting to find this particular species even in other similar cave systems.