Mysterious eggs from my garden

onbekende eitjes

A lot of series of my project are planned, but sometimes they can come as a surprise. The new series, I’m hoping the work on in the next couple of weeks, is a good example of this; I found some mysterious eggs in my garden. They seem to be gastropod eggs, but I’m not sure if they are from a snail or a slug. The exact species is even more of a mystery at this point.


I discovered the eggs by coincidence while I was working in the garden. I bought some dahlia’s this summer, because I have been experimenting with macro photography a lot and they are very photo genetic flowers. They are not hardy enough for the Dutch winter, so I had to dig out the tuberous roots. If you clean them, let them dry and keep them in a cool and dry place at home, you can replant them in spring. While I was digging out the roots, I suddenly discovered a small transparent ball in the soil. I immediately recognized this from my slug series, this was a gastropod egg. When I took a closer look, I discovered more eggs so I went inside to get a something to put them in to keep them save.

Which species?

Now, the big question is from which species these eggs are. As I mentioned before, I already photographed a slug species. These are still living in my garden, so it could be the same eggs as before. But to me, these eggs look different. If remember correctly, the other ones were smaller and round, while these are more elongated. I’ve seen some bigger slugs in my garden, so this could be eggs from a different slug species. In the remains of the dahlia plant, I found some snails. This could be a lead and they could also be eggs from this snail species. But I’m not sure if snails have clear eggs. The pictures I’ve found on the internet are all of white snail eggs.

Determination group on Facebook

On Facebook, I’m a member of a couple of Dutch determination groups, so I took some pictures of the eggs and posted them in one of these groups. The conclusion of the other members was that it’s not possible to say anything at this stage. Even though most clear eggs are slug eggs, it cannot be ruled out that they are from a snail species. Therefore, the only thing I can do is to wait until they hatch and then I’ll be able to see if the hatchling are baby snails or slugs. When they get a bit older, I can use the pictures to determine the exact species. At the moment, they are in a small, ventilated container with some soil in my study. Hopefully they will hatch in the next couple of weeks at this higher room temperature. To be continued…

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