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Hiking in some hills near Taipei after a rain, I saw lots of large snails out and about. Here "large" means the shells are say 8 cm long, and the snail itself fully stretched out 10 to 15 cm perhaps.

At one point I saw a cluster of four snails stuck together in a confusing way. The one on the right was slowly climbing uphill, pulling the other three along.

What is going on here? I see some connections between some of the snails, but I can't really understand most of what I'm looking at here, nor why four snails would be stuck together sideways like this.

four large snails doing something

four large snails doing something

four large snails doing something

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    $\begingroup$ The middle two, at least, are having sex with their love dart. $\endgroup$ – vkehayas Jul 1 '18 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ @vkehayas ouch! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 1 '18 at 17:02
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    $\begingroup$ thumb up for snails love $\endgroup$ – L.Diago Jul 1 '18 at 22:28
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These are probably giant African snails, Achatina fulica, an invasive species of land snails. The two snails in the middle are mating using love darts. The other two may be waiting for their turn.

See also: Wikipedia - Achatina fulica

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  • $\begingroup$ Yikes again! A top 100 invasive species, spreads human disease, and a delicacy according to Wikipedia. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 2 '18 at 14:53
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These snails, Achatina fulica, belong to a family of land snails called Achatinidae. They are invasive and while being agricultural pests, can also be vectors of pathogens. The two snails in the middle are actually mating through a reciprocal simultaneous exchange of gametes through the sexual organs that are clearly visible. These species of land snails do not use love darts as suggested by Dr. Evenor.

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    $\begingroup$ Please provide citations or other forms of evidence to support your answer. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Feb 16 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ As @theforestecologist indicates - for species ID answers we expect an image from a credible source that shows the IDd species and additional evidence is necessary, such as proof that the species indeed inhabits the region where it was spotted. etc. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 18 at 11:51

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