New species of snail finds home after 100 years in hiding

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It has taken 110 years to cover 27 painstaking metres, but one of Britain's most recently discovered species has finally found a home.

Papillifera papillaris - a type of Italian snail - arrived in England near the end of the 19th century, having hitched a ride on a stone balustrade imported from Rome. It then disappeared.

A colony of the tiny snails, which have distinctive spindle-shaped shells 11mm long, has now been found on the “tortoise fountain” in the Italian-style gardens of the Cliveden Estate, Buckinghamshire.

The visitors were discovered by volunteers who were cleaning statues in the formal gardens of the mansion, which today is a hotel.

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