Have you ever seen a snail without a shell? I’ve got a little bit of news for you, if you answered yes… That snail without a shell wasn’t actually a snail, or the snail was dead. Those poor gastropods simply can’t survive without their shell homes.
Are Snails Without Shells Slugs?
No, snails without shells aren’t slugs.
Slugs are slugs. Snails are snails. The two creatures aren’t the same, and they can’t come together to breed. This is something I go into a lot more, in Slug vs Snail: What’s the REAL Difference?
There are species of slug with really tiny shells on their backs, but those shells aren’t big enough to contain the entire slug’s body. Because of that they are not classed as snails. A snail is only a snail when it has a shell it can fully retract back into.
Are Snails Born Without Shells?
Snails are born (or hatch out of the egg) as teeny-tiny versions of their parents. They have small shells, that are fragile and vulnerable.
Small snails without shells aren’t snails: they are really small slugs.
How Long Can Snails Live Without a Shell?
Snails can’t survive for very long without a shell on its back. The shell is their home, their protection, and their way of not drying out in the burning heat of the sun. Without the shell, most snails won’t last longer than a few hours before dying. It all depends on the temperature, whether it is sunny, where the snail is, and more.
At some point soon, however, the snail will die without its shell. It is an inevitability.
What Does a Snail Look Like Without Its Shell?
A snail without its shell looks a bit like a slug, with an additional mound of body on its back, where the shell should be. This is where the snail’s organs are found – lung, liver, stomach, kidney, heart, etc.
Some snails will look slightly different depending on their species and whether or not they’re land or water snails. Conical snail shells will hold bodies that have a conical shape inside. Rounded shells, on the other hand, will hold rounder mounds instead.
Snail without Shell in Aquarium
If you have a snail without a shell in your aquarium, or your snail’s shell becomes damaged in any way, it’s likely the case that something is not right with the habitat’s parameters.
Calcium deficiency can quickly lead to a poor quality, soft, and weak shell. The snail needs calcium in order to absorb it and pour it into its home. Cuttlebones, spinach and other calcium-rich foods, and even calcium tablets or other supplements can help with this problem.
It’s time for you to remove the shell and body of the snail because it will be dead without its shell, and also check the water temperature, pH levels, and other parameters. Once you know what’s not right, you can tweak things to put it right.
As a side note, there are parasites that can infest your tank, which look a little like slugs or snails without shells. One of these is planarians, which are around 0.7-inches (2 cm) long. Snail leeches are another thing you may need to look at.
Snail without Shell Spiritual Meaning
Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? If you do, some spiritualists believe there is a spiritual meaning behind seeing a snail without a shell or dreaming of one.
A snail that no longer has a shell is one that is fully vulnerable and exposed to all sorts of things – temperature, predators, drying out, accidental stamps from human feet…
It could be seen as a spiritual sign that you’re going through a hard time, feeling vulnerable and exposed to your enemies or negative energies.