Dragon Snail Kinoko a Featured Creature in Faerie Magazine!
Kinoko is representing the Dragon Snails in the Spring 2009 issue of Faerie Magazine! I encourage you to pick up a copy (I got mine at Barnes & Noble but you can also order it through their web site); there are lots of other wonderful artworks and artists featured in this issue.
Jennifer Carson, an editor for Faerie Magazine (and also an artist herself), asked me what inspired me to start making the Dragon Snails. My answer to that question, along with my story of the Dragon Snail species, appears under Kinoko’s picture in the article. I will type it here so you don’t have to strain to see the scanned article (though you can see a large picture of the scan by clicking here).
I was first inspired to make Dragon Snails while taking a sculpture class at a community college. The prompt was to create a new creature using aspects of two or more existing creatures. I love dragons, so I started there. In the course of brainstorming it struck me that Dragon Snails would be quirky, humorous, and strangely adorable!
The species Draco domiporta, common name Dragon Snail, first appeared in 2003. Little is known about this elusive species, as they tend to evade capture when biologists are involved, though they are tolerant and even affectionate to people with benign intent. Scientists are baffled by the apparent intelligence and parapsychic abilities of these creatures; most of the information gathered about them comes from laypeople.
It is not surprising, then, that the species name “domiporta” is something of a misnomer. Literally “one with her house on her back” or “snail,” Dragon Snails do not have the ability to retreat inside their shells as snails do. Rather, the shell appears to be an affectation adopted by the species as a way to attract food. Mostly carnivorous, the species seems to prefer a diet of snails. They will also eat some funguses and algae, as well as insects, frogs, birds, and small rodents whose intention was to make a meal of them. Larger would-be predators are strongly discouraged by a fierce nip or a sharp horn. Dragon Snails are far faster than they appear and may even snatch a swooping bird out of midair!