LONDON, Aug. 26 (UPI) — A battle royal is on in England between two of the country’s historic country houses, as each seeks the honor of having a snail named after it, observers say.
The tiny snail with a corkscrew pink and brown shell has been found on the stonework of Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire and Brownsea Castle in Dorset, and although it’s an imported Mediterranean species, naturalists now consider it a resident snail and want to give it an English name, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The Papillifera bidens snail was “accidentally imported” into Britain during the late 19th century when it hitchhiked on statues from Italy and Greece brought back to England by the Victorians, the newspaper said.
When the snail was discovered at Cliveden House in 2004, it was suggested the species be named the Cliveden snail.
But Brownsea Castle claimed to have spotted the snail back in the mid 1990s and demanded that it be called the Brownsea snail.
Few of the 300 land and fresh water slugs or snails in Britain have English names, Matthew Oates, National Trust Nature conservation adviser, said.
If the new resident species is given a name, he suggested the final call could be up to the public.
“We now have two National Trust properties vying for ownership of the same snail,” he added. “One calls it the Cliveden Snail and the other the Brownsea Snail. Either should be acceptable at this stage.”
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