Name: Garden Cephalopod (Common name: Snoctopus*. Ugh.)
Description: A small green, grey or pinkish cephalopod, carrying around a repurposed snail shell of a variety of types.
*Common name added under protest, for the sake of completion and accuracy of the database.
Photos and info below!
Notes: The garden cephalopod, also known as ‘garden octopus’ or the highly unpleasant-sounding ‘snoctopus’, has no natural defences; and is a favourite food of many garden birds. However, the creatures have developed a method to deal with this excessive culling of their species: adopting discarded snail shells as armour for their vulnerable bodies, into which they can also retract their tentacles when the need arises.
Their diet consists of insects and fallen fruit (when available), they hibernate in crevices, under paving slabs etc. from November through to March. They are considered lucky by many, stemming from the beneficial effect they have on gardens and crops by consuming pests such as aphids.
Their octopus-like appearance coupled with their use of snail shells led to the creation of the portmanteau ‘snoctopus’, an ugly word that should never have gained popularity. However, it is now the most common name used for the garden cephalopod; and has worked its way into pop culture and even children’s nursery rhymes.
“Snoctopus climbs up the wall
Will he stick or will he fall?
Catch him and there’s luck for us
Thank you Mr Snoctopus!”
Entry Compiled by: Jesper Beattie