This ‘how to study’ guide involves carefully marking individual snails so that we can tell them apart, moving them to new locations, and then taking the time to observe and record your encounters over the following week or two. Through this simple exercise you can learn a lot about these slimy little creatures and their daily movements.

Guide to Snail Homing

Have you ever wondered how the snails in your garden get around? Are the snails you see on Monday in amongst the lettuce, the same ones you see on Tuesday resting quietly under that pot in the corner of the garden? Do snails tend to move around in the same areas, or do they travel far and wide?

This ‘how to study’ guide has been designed to show you some ways you can investigate these slimy questions for yourself.

We don’t know an awful lot about the daily movements of snails. The few studies that have been conducted have shown that some snails return to the same general area, or even the same exact spot, to rest during the warm daylight hours each day. Other snails seem to be much less predictable in their movements. Some snails that are relocated by people have been shown to cross distances of tens of metres to get home, other snails have tended not to return if they’re moved more than a few metres away.

For more insights on our backyard friends, and a step by step guide to make your observations of their behaviours, download the file here. This guide has been designed to be printed and folded into a booklet. Set your printer for double-sided, short-edge binding. The guide also includes work sheets for you to record your observations.