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Snail on Milkweed. Snails are hermaphrodites (they have signs of both sexes). They can curl up within their shell if frightened to protect themselves and have tentacled eyes that can retract into their bodies. Snails live on average for some 5 to 10 years, although the greatest proven age for a land snail is 15 years.

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes and Janine Ngai