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Helix pomatia, common names the Burgundy snail, Roman snail, edible snail or escargot, is a species of large, edible, air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Helicidae. It is a European species.
south-eastern and central Europe:
- Germany – Listed as a specially protected species in annex 1 of the Bundesartenschutzverordnung.
- Czech Republic – least concern species (LC). Its conservation status in 2004–2006 is favourable (FV) in the report for the European commission in accordance with the Habitats Directive.
- In south-western Bulgaria up to an altitude of more than 1600 m.
- north and central Balkans
- Republic Of Macedonia
- Great Britain: in the west and south of England in southern areas on chalk soils. Its common name in the UK is "Roman snail" because it was introduced to the island by the Romans during the Roman period (AD 43–410). In England only (not the rest of the UK) the Roman snail is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, making it illegal to kill, injure, collect or sell these snails.
- central France
- Netherlands 
- Denmark – Listed as a protected species.
- south Sweden
- In central and southern parts of Sweden, Norway and Finland, there are isolated and relatively small populations. It is not native to these countries, but is likely to have been imported by monks from Southern Europe during medieval times.
- western Belarus
- western Ukraine (Uzhgorod)
- Russia: introduced to Moscow, Kursk
- Ukraine: introduced to Kiev 
Apertural and abapertural view of a shell of Helix pomatiaReproductive system of Helix pomatiaThe shell is creamy white to light brownish, often with indistinct brown colour bands. The shell has 5–6 whorls. The aperture is large. The apertural margin is white and slightly reflected in adult snails. The umbilicus is narrow and partly covered by the reflected columellar margin.
In south-eastern Europe Helix pomatia lives in forests and open habitats, gardens, vineyards, especially along rivers, confined to calcareous substrate. In central Europe in open forests and shrubland on calcareous substrate. It prefers high humidity and lower temperatures, needs loose soil to burrow in order to hibernate and lay its eggs. It lives up to 2100 m in the Alps, usually below 2000 m. In south England it is restricted to undisturbed grassy or bushy wastelands, usually not in gardens, with a low reproduction rate and low powers of dispersal.
Average distance of migration reaches 3.5–6 m.
|A pair of Helix pomatia in courtship, shortly before mating||Drawing of head of mating Helix pomatia with everted penis and dart sac shooting a love dart||Drawing of Helix pomatia laying eggs|
Eggs are laid in June and July, in clutches of 40–65 eggs. The size of the egg is 5.5–6.5 mm or 8.6 × 7.2 mm. Juveniles hatch after 3–4 weeks, and may consume their siblings under unfavourable climate conditions. Maturity is reached after 2–5 years. The life span is up to 20 years. 10 year-old individuals are probably not uncommon in natural populations. The maximum lifespan is 35 years.
|Drawing of helix pomatia during hibernation.||Photo of the shell with an epiphragm.||Epiphragm of Helix pomatia|
This species is listed in IUCN red list as Least Concern. Helix pomatia is threatened by continuous habitat destructions and drainage, usually less threatened by commercial collections. There were many unsuccessful attempts to establish the species in various parts of England, Scotland and Ireland; it only survived in natural habitats in southern England, and is threatened by intensive farming and habitat destruction. It is of lower concern in Switzerland and Austria, but in many regions there are restrictions on commercial collecting.
In the 2005 film What Is It? several of these snails appear: some die by crushing, others by salting.