Rare Ipswich snail dubbed ‘Lefty’ runs off with Spanish snail instead, spurning chosen mate Jeremy

PUBLISHED: 10:36 18 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:00 18 May 2017

University of Nottingham photo of snails Lefty (right) and Jeremy (left). Picture: University of Nottingham/PA Wire

University of Nottingham photo of snails Lefty (right) and Jeremy (left). Picture: University of Nottingham/PA Wire

Lefty the Suffolk snail was found after a search to find fellow snail Jeremy a mate.

While both being common garden snails, they are actually incredibly rare finds with their shells spiralling in the opposite direction to the majority of snails.

Jeremy and Lefty’s shells spiral in an anti-clockwise direction, which means they are unable to mate with snails whose shells spiral the opposite way.

An appeal was launched by Angus Davison, from the University of Nottingham, to find fellow gastropods for Jeremy to mate with in a bid to discover more about the creature’s genetic makeup.

Lefty and Tomeu, from Spain, came forward as potential mates following the #snaillove campaign on Twitter.

But Dr Davison told Radio 4’s Today programme: “We turned up not one but two very rare snails, one from Ipswich and one from Majorca.

“The irony is, it’s like that thing where maybe you introduce your best friends to a girl you’re interested in.

“The two snails we found as a result of the programme got together.”

The partnership between Lefty and Tomeu resulted in 170 babies, all of which coil to the right, while Jeremy remains in the lab in Nottingham.

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