There are over 40,000 species of snails all over the world. The most known type is the land snail (also called terrestrial snail). There are two other types: the freshwater snail and the sea snail. All those types of snails together with the different slugs belong to the Gastropoda class.
Snails are very adaptable animals. They live in many places around the world. Many people encounter snails in their gardens or backyards. But there are different types of snails that can live in the desert, while others live in the snow.
In addition to their different habitats, different species of snails have different eating habits. Most land snails are herbivores and will eat only plant-based food. But there are other types that will eat animal-based food (carnivores) omnivorous (will eat both plants and animals).
Snail are also a good source of food for humans. Nowadays, people associate the word Escargot with a snail dish but the word is just a translation of the word “snail” in French. There are many edible snails which are being farmed in snail farms across the world. This process is called Heliciculture.
On the other hand, there are many species of snails that are dangerous to eat because they contain parasites.
Over the past few years, there is increasing interest in snails as pets. Although it might surprise some people, snails actually have some virtues that make them a great pet for adult and kids.
How To Identify a Snail?
Children who play outdoors become familiar with snails in a very young age. They are very easy to recognized and differentiate from slug by their shell. Because they move so slow, they are often being watched up closely and also picked up.
There is a protocol to identify each species of snail. But generally speaking, most of the identification is done by the size and structure of its shell.
When trying to identify a snail, one of the first things to keep in mind is the shell. The shell is the most obvious part of its anatomy and for most snails will have a conical shape and the entrance will be either on the left side or right. The existence or the absence of a shell is what separates within the Gastropoda class between snails and the slugs.
- Shell Present: This is self-explanatory and the shell can be seen with the naked eye from the outside of the snail. It is characterized by the coiling and the animal can often retract into the shell.
- Shell Absent: Just because you don’t see a shell, does not mean one is not present. The shell might be reduced of internal, which means that no coiling is present. Often, the shell is located at the back close to the mantle and the snail cannot retract.
There are also a variety of shell types that you can come across. While the conical structure is the most common, it can often be different. Here are a few common snail shell types you can find:
- Broad conical shape
- Narrow conical shape
- Heliciform (conical-depressed)
The sculpturing of the shell is another way that you can use to identify the different snails. In most cases, you can see the characteristics with the naked eye. However, in some cases, it might need some magnification. Here are some key things to note about shell sculpturing:
- Hairs: You might come across snails that have hairs on their shell
- Pits: These are uniform indentations in the shell
- Dents: These are irregular indentations in the shell
- Striae: Indentations found in the whorls of the shell
- Pleats: Creasing that have formed by crumpling and folding
- Ribs: Ridges that run traversely to the whorls on the shell
Whenever you come across a snail, you are bound to find a slime trail as well. There are two different forms of excretion common to snails. The first type is not adhesive, but rather translucent and the other is slightly thinker and more condensed. While this does not relate to any specific snail, the type of secretion left behind by the snail depends on the way it is stimulated.
Common Types of Snails
As was previously mentioned, there are thousands and thousands of different snails. There are plenty of types you might come across. Some of the more common ones are:
Scientific Name: Cornu aspersum, Helix aspersa
Speed: 0.029 MPH (Maximum, Adult)
Garden Snails are probably the most common snails you will come across. They are native to Egypt, Western Europe and the Mediterranean Region. However, snails have been distributed all over the world in the modern era. In terms of size, they will grow up to 1.3-inches and the shell can be described as yellowish with brown strips.
These snails feed on a variety of different plants and fruits. Many people will consider it to be a pest. On the other hand, others will have it as pet.
Giant African Land Snail
Scientific Name: Achatina Fulica
Speed: 0.002 MPH
The Giant African Land Snail is one of the largest snail species and they grow up to 8-inches. They are native to Africa, but the snail can be found all over the world. They are officialy considered as pest. The United States Department Of Agriculture has described them as being one of the most invasive species. These species tend to destroy crops and vegetation very easily.
Mediterranean Green Snail
Scientific Name: Cantareus Apertus, Helix aperta
Speed: 0.0022 MPH
The Mediterranean Green Snail is another common type of snail. Many people refer to it as the green garden snail. The snail is home to the Mediterranean and in Mediterranean parts of Europe. It is also prevalent in some parts of Africa. Much like the garden snail, it feeds on a wide variety of plants and fruits, while also destroying vegetation.
It is easy to identify them due to the green color of their shell. They reach up to 5-inches in total size when they reach adulthood.
Scientific Name: Helix Pomatia
Speed: 0.0026 MPH
The Roman Snail is one of the most popular edible snails. It has a dark brown shell with light brown bands around it. The snail was once native to Europe, but they can now be found all over the world. These snails prefer temperate rainforests with a little bit of rainfall each year. The snail is characterized by a bulky shell that is 1.7-inches in length and width. The shell constitutes two-thirds of the weight of the Roman Snail. Another name for this snail is: burgundy snail.
White Garden Snail
Scientific Name: Theba Pisana
Speed: 0.029 MPH
Theba pisana, also known as the white garden snail, sandhill snail, white Italian snail, Mediterranean coastal snail, or simply the Mediterranean snail, is an edible species of medium-sized, air-breathing land snail that belongs to the Helicidae (typical snail) family.
This species is endemic to the Mediterranean region, but it has spread to many other nations as an invasive species. In many areas of the world, Theba pisana is a well-known agricultural pest. The shell is white to yellow-brown in hue, with light brown spiral markings.
This species has already established itself in the United States and is considered a possible pest and invasive species that could harm agriculture, natural ecosystems, human health, and commerce. As a result, it has been proposed that this species be given high national quarantine priority in the United States.
The background of the shell is a creamy white. Shells with variable degrees of pale to dark brown patterns may be found on different individuals. When present, the markings may appear as continuous spiral bands, spiral dotted lines, or faint radial smudges.
The shell comes in various colors, but the most common are yellow or white with dark color bands or spots and a dark bluish grey apex. Juvenile shells are sharply keeled, but the keel is absent from the final adult whorl. The inside of the aperture often has a pale reddish lip, and the lip edge is only reflected on the columellar side. The umbilicus is small, and the mirrored columellar edge covers half of it. In the eastern Mediterranean, where there are no other Theba species, the apex has a distinctive size compared to other species. The umbilicus is also uncommon in other animals. Eobania vermiculata juveniles have a much bigger apex than adults.
The shell’s breadth ranges from 12 to 25 mm, however adult shells in Greece are often less than 15 mm wide. The shell is 9–20 mm in height. The visible soft parts are light yellowish, with dark color bands going from the sides to the upper tentacles; the tentacles are incredibly lengthy. Cernuella virgata, a smaller and less inflated shell species, is occasionally mistaken for this snail.
Scientific Name: Otala Lactea
Speed: 0.002 MPH
The Milk Snail is commonly referred to as the Spanish snail as well. These snails are characterized by their white or brown shells with darker specks on the shell. They typically feed on things like papaya and other fruits. These snails are also some of the most common when it comes to edible snails.
Scientific Name: Pomacea Bridgesii
Speed: Water Snail
The mystery snail (Pomacea bridgesii) is a popular freshwater snail species. It is native to South America, with Peru, Paraguay, Brazil, and Bolivia having the highest density. The spike-topped apple snail, sometimes known as the common apple snail, is another name.
Mystery snails can be found in the wild, scavenging for plant matter in various bodies of water, the most common of which are rivers, swamps, and ponds. They spend most of their time near the substrate at the bottom. There is a buildup of organic plant material for these snails to devour down there.
Many people are unaware that some types of mystery snails are classified as invasive species in certain parts. This is due to their innate durability and human-assisted dispersion.
Mystery snails are extremely similar to regular snails when it comes to appearance. They have the basic shell curve found on a wide range of species.
The colors are where you can start to tell them apart from other species. When you look at mystery snails, you’ll see that they come in various colors and patterns.
The primary color of their shell is either brown (usually light) or fading white. This could be a solid color with no patterns or deviations or divided into bands and stripes.
Their stripes are usually always darker than their primary color, and the thickness of their stripes varies. You may notice a predominantly white area followed by a narrow brown band and a more yellowish band. There are a plethora of options!
The bodies of mystery snails are also available in a variety of hues. This is usually a whitish-grey color, but it can also be yellow, dark grey, or black.
The cone shell snail is a broad term referring to several marine snails of the subclass Prosobranchia (class Gastropoda), which belong to the genus Conus and the family Conidae (there are about 500 species of this snail in the world). The shell has straight sides with a low spire, tapering body whorl, and a small aperture. Cone snails have a paralyzing toxin that they inject into the bodies of prey through a dart. Some large species have been known to sting humans with this fatal toxin. They typically prey on worms and mollusks, but some come snails that can capture fish.
The toxins of the cone shell snails are specially made to disrupt a victim’s nervous system. They work by binding to individual cell surface receptors (glycoproteins) and ion channels. Cone shell toxins are used mainly by neurobiologists to study receptor and ion channel functioning invertebrates. Many species of cone snails can be found in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Ramshorn Snail is a widespread species of snail primarily found in freshwater aquariums. Their botanical name is Planorbella duryi or Planorbarius corneus, and they belong to the family Planorbidae. They are also commonly used as pets as they are harmless and have distinctly beautiful shells. However, they usually find their way into tanks and become pests. Whether a Ramshorn Snail is seen as a pet or pest is dependent on the individual and the type of tank it is kept in. They’re omnivores and eat mainly algae. Their shells have various colors and patterns like blue, red, and orange. Some have even been known to have leopard-like spots.
Nerite Snails (Neritina natalensis) are herbivorous freshwater snails that belong to the family Neritidae. Some species can also live in saltwater. Nerite Snails are Zebra Nerite Snails, Tiger Nerite Snails, and Spotted Nerite Snails. They are grown mainly by aquarium hobbyists due to their usefulness in eliminating algae from glass.
Nerite snails have beautiful black and gold stripes on their shell, which gives them their striking appearance. However, some species of this snail have spots while others have single coloration.
Nerite snails are peaceful creatures, and they usually live well with other snails in their tanks. It’s one of the major reasons why aquarium hobbyists prefer them. They just eat algae and move around their tanks.
Apple snails are freshwater snails that live in tropical and subtropical climates. They belong to the Ampullariidae family (sometimes referred to as Pilidae). There are multiple genera in the Ampullariidae family. New World genera include Asolene, Felipponea, Marisa, and Pomacea (found in South America, Central America, the West Indies, and the Southern United States). In contrast, African genera include Afropomus, Lanistes, and Saulea. Both Africa and Asia are home to the Pila genus.
Apple snails are popular aquarium pets because of their appealing look and size. When properly cared for, some apple snail species can grow quite huge (15 cm / 6-inch diameter in the case of Pomacea maculata, also known as Ampullarius gigas). Apple snails are the world’s largest live freshwater snails. Pomacea diffusa is the most common apple snail seen in aquarium stores (spike-topped apple snail).
This species of snails come in various colors, including brown, albino, yellow, and even blue, with or without banding. The colors of these snails’ bodies range from black to yellow to grey. Pomacea canaliculata is another famous apple snail; this snail is larger, rounder, and more prone to consume your plants, making it unsuitable for most aquaria. These snails are also available in a variety of shell and body colors.
The Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) is occasionally discovered in aquariums and is frequently collected in the wild from Florida ditches and ponds. The rare Pomacea maculata, a huge Pomacea maculata, makes its way into aquaria. Other apple snail species are occasionally caught and sold during tropical fish expeditions.
Cats eye snail (Lunella smaragda) is an indigenous species found in New Zealand’s intertidal and low subtidal rocky coastlines and soft substrates (such as seaweeds). It can be found on rocks between low and mid-tide on the North, South, and Stewart Islands.
The common name “cat’s eye” for the synonym Turbo smaragdus refers to the species’ beautifully colored operculum, which resembles an eye and occasionally is a decorative feature. The inside of the operculum is flat, with four whorls. The nucleus spans more than one-third of the face’s width. Except for the side of the increment, which is white, the outside is a vivid green.
It has a thick blackish cuticle that hides the green underneath. It usually has 4 to 5 whorls and is degraded at the apex. Spirally sulcata or carinate are the higher ones. The body whorl is big, flattened above, with sub obsolete spiral sulci and progressive wrinkles. The big opening is obliquely shaped, rounded inside, and pearly white. The outer lip is narrow with a black rim. A pearly callus covers the arched columella. The concave white umbilico-parietal region has been excavated.
The lid or operculum of the common marine snail Turbo smaragdus is known as a cat’s eye. When a predator approaches or the snail is exposed above the tide, it withdraws within its shell, and the operculum closes the entrance. The operculum slips free of the shell after the snail has died and decayed. Kanohi pp is the Maori word for cat’s eye, and these small ‘lids’ appear in a traditional tale:
Whaitiri was a vengeful older woman from the South Island who ate members of her own family on occasion. Two of her grandsons, who had been assigned to spend the night with her, worried she might murder them while they slept. They discovered some sea snails and dismembered the cat’s eyes. They covered their own eyes with the shell lids before going to bed. As a result, their grandmother mistook them for wide awake and left them alone.
The Assassin Snail (Clea Helena) is one of the most beneficial aquarium species. They will eliminate unwanted pest snails from your aquarium and eliminate the need for harsh snail-killing chemicals. Pond snails, Malaysian trumpet snails, ramshorn snails, bladder snails, and other snails are among their specialties.
Assassin Snails, native to Southeast Asia, have become quite popular among aquarists. They’re useful in fish tanks, but they’re also quite easy to look after.
They devour all other sorts of snails that are the same size as them or smaller, but they do not hurt larger snails (such as Mystery Snails, Giant Sulawesi Snails, and larger Nerite Snails). However, vast groups of Assassin Snails have been known to attack and kill larger snails, so even with larger snails, caution should be given when maintaining these. Because snails are their favorite feed, they are safe to keep alongside fish, most invertebrates, live plants, and other aquarium occupants. When housing them with dwarf shrimp, however, some caution is required. There’s a chance an assassin snail will consume a dwarf shrimp now and then. They would much rather eat snails, but they may be able to consume shrimp if given an opportunity. When living with other snails and dwarf shrimp, exercise caution.
Assassin Snails have the extra benefit of being quite gorgeous. They look great on light and dark-colored substrates, thanks to their yellow and black/dark brown striping. Their spiral-shaped shells taper down to a tip at the end. They have an iridescent, nearly translucent white body with a lengthy Proboscis (a sucking mouthpart akin to a nose) that they use to drag themselves around and two eyes beneath two tentacles.
The Moon Snail is one of the most well-known invertebrates in the sandy intertidal zone. It is a fairly large species (up to 13 cm in diameter). The eggs of this snail contribute to it’s size. This light brown species is nearly spherical, with the first whorl occupying most of the shell. The aperture is enormous, and the shell is closed by a big, horny operculum on the foot.
Water can be injected into hollow sinuses in the foot and mantle, causing them to extend out and over the shell, generating a plow-like structure with which they push forward when traveling through the sand surface. When the snail is startled, it immediately retracts this construction by violently squirting the trapped water outward.
Moon Snails are fierce predators of the clams that live in their environment. They locate a clam, apparently using chemoreception, then encircle it with their huge foot, dragging it deeper into the sand. The radula has seven rows of teeth, which they use to drill a hole in the clamshell (which is immediately identifiable as being formed by this species since it is countersunk). A gland on the proboscis secretes enzymes and even hydrochloric acid to aid in this.
Over a day or so, the snail rasps and sucks out the clam’s tissues. They consume one every four days in the laboratory and take rather thin-shelled clams up to 5 cm in length. They also devour other snails and herring eggs in some cases. They are large enough to avoid many predators. However, Sunflower Stars will assault them, with the snail occasionally managing to repel one by rasping the sea star’s tube feet with its radula.
In the winter, Moon Snails travel out into deeper water, then return to the coast in the summer to breed. The sexes are distinct, and mating pairs reveal that females are more extensive and have thinner shells than males. The eggs are placed in huge sand collars (up to 15 cm in diameter), sandwiched between two layers of sand held together by mucous secretions. The collar resembles a flattened clerical collar with a large aperture in the center, is filled with eggs that hatch into veliger larvae in the sand.
The larvae are released into the water column when the sand disintegrates over weeks. The larvae migrate deeper into the ocean and graze as herbivores on diatoms and Sea Lettuce for a while before transitioning to carnivory as they mature.
Periwinkle is a zoological term for any small marine snail belonging to the Littorinidae family (class Gastropoda, phylum Mollusca). Periwinkles are herbivorous shore (littoral) snails found on rocks, stones, or pilings between high and low tide; a few can be found on mudflats, and specific tropical variants can be found on certain prop roots of mangrove trees. The western Atlantic is home to ten of the world’s approximately 80 species. Littorina littorea, the common periwinkle, is the northern species’ most significant, most common, and ubiquitous. It can grow up to 4 centimeters (1 1/2 inch) in length, is usually dark gray, and has a solid spiral (turbinate) shell that can endure wave buffeting.
The common periwinkle, which is found along the rocky coastlines of northern Europe, was introduced to North America in approximately 1857 at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has since spread as far south as Maryland. It’s common along New England’s rocky coasts and on shallow muddy bottoms, tidal estuaries’ banks, and amid the roots and blades of marsh grass when the water is only mildly salty.
Periwinkles have a wide range of breeding patterns. The embryos of Littorina saxatilis, which lives high up on rocks and is often out of water for long periods, are kept in a brood sac until the young are fully formed, at which point they emerge as tiny crawling duplicates of the adult. The embryos of Littorina littorea are released in translucent, saucer-shaped egg cases, which eventually hatch into veliger larvae. Other species deposit their embryos on rocks and other hard surfaces in the form of gelatinous egg masses. Littorinidae species are essential as a favorite meal of many shorebirds, especially ducks.
Rabbit Snails are a one-of-a-kind freshwater species that attracts a lot of attention. These critters will give your tank a unique feel because of their lengthy shell and intriguing visage. They’re also relatively easy to look after and will assist you in cleaning your aquarium.
Rabbit Snails (Tylomelania) are a freshwater mollusc relatively new to the fish-keeping world. Around 2007, they were first offered on the market. As a result, they’re still relatively uncommon. Those that are fortunate enough to own them, on the other hand, usually have nothing but positive things to say about them.
They are one-of-a-kind snails with individual personalities. These snails are naturally curious and can be found roaming through aquariums at all hours of the day!
These animals are native to Sulawesi, Indonesia, and are also known as the Elephant Snail (or the Bunny Snail). The title “Rabbit Snail” refers to a larger genus of freshwater snails. There are various species to choose from. The majority of their care requirements, however, remain the same.
It’s critical to provide the greatest care possible for your Rabbit Snail, regardless of the type. These snails can continue growing and reaching their full potential if they have good water conditions and eat a balanced diet.
The stunning Asian Lava Snail is a unique addition to any home aquarium. The body of these curious gastropods from the genus Faunus has long, ridged, brown-black conical shells, and the color of the snail can range from dark grey with white dots, flecked grey with a red blush, to brightly streaked with bright orange, yellow, or red (as seen here), and everything in between. The eyes are small and situated behind the tentacles on the broad, tactile snout. These snails have been found in both fresh and brackish water in the wild, and it is thought that they require slightly saline conditions to reproduce. They’re ideal for tranquil community tanks with little, peaceful fish and shrimp that thrive under similar settings.
The bladder snail is regarded as an invasive species due to its capacity to reproduce rapidly and that aquarium enthusiasts rarely purchase them. The bladder snail is a member of the Physidae family and belongs to the Gastropoda class. The size of these tiny gastropod mollusks is roughly 1/2 inch. They breathe air despite being aquatic.
The bladder snail is a calm animal with a voracious appetite. The bladder snail, which belongs to the Physella acuta species, has a sinistral shell, which means that if you turn the opening toward you with the spire pointing up, the aperture will be on the left.
The bladder snail’s origins are unknown, and there are competing ideas about its origins in Eastern Europe and Central America. Bladder snails are now abundant in Belgium, Croatia, Italy, the Czech Republic, and other European countries.
They can also be found in large quantities in Africa and the Mediterranean and Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Virginia in the United States. Antarctica is the only place where bladder snails are not found.
Bladder snails can survive for up to two years and prefer still water with a temperature of 64 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Fire Snail, also known as Platymma tweediei, and is Peninsular Malaysia’s largest land snail. This snail can only be found in the mountainous forests of the area. It is the only species in the Platymma genus.
It is the only one of its kind that adds to its notoriety among snails. The black shell of this unusual snail is distinguished by its orange to brilliant red’ foot.’ A gastropod is a group of animals that includes snails. Slugs and snails are both gastropods, but I believe snails got a better deal because they have a more attractive shell.
Gastropods have two or four sensory tentacles and a well-defined head. This is where the attention is drawn! A snail’s ventral foot is solid and muscular. They crawl over rough surfaces with the help of mucus. This slimy foot keeps the snail’s soft body from drying out.
The Fire Snail’s striking black shell is one of its most peculiar features. The shell can grow up to 7cm in diameter, yet it appears to be much larger. The snail’s vibrant colors make it an adorable pet for collectors.
While many pet snails don’t live for a long time, fire snails are quite resilient. But they thrive only in icy and humid environments.
Melanoides tuberculata, often known as the red-rimmed Melania, is a freshwater snail with an operculum, a parthenogenetic aquatic gastropod mollusc in the Thiaridae family. The scarlet streaks on the otherwise greenish-brown shell give the species its name.
The Red-Rimmed Melania is a little snail with a red rim in the aquarium hobby. It is beneficial and effective in the fight against algae. Another benefit is that it aerates the soil by burrowing into it. Finally, when plants are introduced, they appear spontaneously. This mollusk has a lot of advantages and is part of the “wanted” group of mollusks that aquarists are looking for!
This snail is an excellent ally against algae, and it will never harm healthy plants. It is a carnivorous mollusc that scavenges for food. So, it will eat food scraps, corpses, algae, and damaged or decomposing plants.
In an aquarium that has been submerged in water for at least 3-4 months, it is very self-sufficient in terms of feeding. You can feed it groundfish pellets, zucchini, carrot, cucumber, salad, etc., if you want. But watch yourself for overeating, which might lead to a population explosion!
The Melanoid is a snail that lives at night. It burrows in the sand throughout the day, which is beneficial since it fertilizes and aerates the soil. This provides good nutrient circulation in the soil, which is healthy for the plants.
The Gold Inca Snail is a freshwater aquarium snail that can now be obtained in most pet stores. A Gold Inca Snail has a creamy white body, head, and foot with a vivid yellow and gold tint. Several orange dots are scattered across the head of a Gold Inca Snail, immediately above and around its mouth. On its siphon, orange dashes appear, and orange rings appear around its eyes. The color scheme of creamy white and orange in an aquarium, paired with its yellow-gold shell, may stand out, particularly in tanks with dark green plants, black substrates, and dark backgrounds.
From shop to store, there may be variances in the names. These snails are also known as Gold Mystery Snails, Golden Mystery Snails, Golden Inca Snails, Golden Snails, Yellow Snails, Inca Snails, and other names.
Only the wet woods and mild temperate rainforests in the Otway Ranges, Victoria, are home to the Otway Black Snail Victaphanta compacta. It is one of four carnivorous land snail species in the Victaphanta family, and one of five carnivorous land snail species found in the Otway Ranges, however it is the only predatory land snail native to the Otway Ranges.
The snail’s body is grey-blue to black, with varying tinges of yellow-brown on the inner whorl. The shell is spherical with four swirls and varies from a glossy dark brown to black, with different tinges of yellow-brown on the inner whorl. The shell has a maximum diameter of 28mm and is located near the body’s tail. Cochins make up most of the shell, which is thin, light, and relatively flexible.
Because of its unique geographic range, globulous-shaped shell, lack of an orange frill around its foot, and lack of orange mucus, the Otway Black Snail may be recognized from other Vicaphanta species.
The Otway Black Snail has no preference for habitat within acceptable forest types. Wet forest ridgelines, cold temperate rainforest gullies, and slope ecotones all have it. At the base of trees and tree-ferns and amid dense leaf litter, is the preferred microhabitat. It’s less likely to be discovered amid log debris, and it’s even less likely to be located 2 meters above ground level.
The Otway Black Snail is nocturnal in part. It eats other snails, slugs, earthworms, and soft-bodied insect larvae, although it is not cannibalistic. It lacks a jaw like herbivorous snails, instead opting for long, sharp, backward-pointing teeth organized in v-shaped rows on the radula (underside of the snail’s foot) to hold prey as it is devoured.
The plough’s smooth shell Bullia rhodostoma is a common whelk (sea snail) that scavenges off washed-up jellyfish and bluebottles along our shore. This species grows very slowly, reaching a maximum size of only 5.5cm. They grow quickly in the first year, reaching a size of 1cm, but it takes ten years to reach a length of 4cm. Bulla whelks are separated into two groups: those that live intertidally (between the low and high tide marks) and surf,’ and those that live subtidally (below the low tide mark) but do not surf.’ The smooth plow shell is a surfing’ intertidal’ species – but surfing sea snails? This species, like others, can extend its broad, thin, agile feet and surf up and down the shore, taking advantage of wave movement and currents.
The smooth shell is lighter than subtidal species and has a lower center of gravity, making it easier to surf. Surfing is frequently done with the animal on its back or side. The shell is one of the most efficient surfing species, capable of reaching speeds of three quarters the flow rate of the water.
Conuber sordidus, which can reach 50mm in length, is one of the largest and most numerous sand snails found on sand and mudflats along Australia’s eastern and southern shores. Like other sand snails, this sand snail is a predator, preferring bivalve mollusks (particularly tellins and clams) and preying on other snails and other sand snail species. The animal burrows through sand layers on the surface in quest of prey. It secures victims with its enormous foot, while a sophisticated drilling apparatus in its mouth creates a circular hole in the victim’s shell. The Leaden Sand Snail lays huge, crescent-shaped egg masses that contain thousands of embryos and clear jelly. These egg masses are frequently mistaken for jellyfish. However, they are completely safe and should be ignored. They are native to Australia’s eastern and southern regions.
The huge pond snail is active throughout the year. To breathe, the snail regularly comes to the water’s surface to take in air. However, in the winter, except during particularly harsh frosts, the snail can be seen near the surface, under a sheet of ice, because it can receive oxygen into its skin through the water.
Lymnaea stagnalis is one of the largest freshwater snail species found in the United States. Its slender shell with a pointed spire can reach 54mm in height and 27mm in width, with the final of the 6-8 whorls being broader and bulbous. The shell is dark brown in color, fragile, and has fine growth lines. The umbilicus is sealed around the middle of the shell.
It has long, flat, triangular feelers that resemble little horns. The snail uses its well-circulated feelers to breathe, absorbing oxygen from the water. Like the upper half of the snail’s body, these tentacles are coated in minute fluorescent flecks. The bulges of the feelers are the focus of the comparatively small eyes. The snail’s body cannot be fully retracted within the shell, thus the wide, oval foot must stay slightly outside the aperture, exposed.
The big pond snail is prevalent throughout Europe, including as far north as Norway. It is most usually seen in huge ponds, water-filled ditches, and rivers in flatland environments. The snail can commonly be found in the backwaters of the Donau-Auen National Park, which are constantly refreshed with groundwater.
Cumia reticulata, often known as the false triton, is a sea snail belonging to the Colubridae family of marine gastropod mollusks. At least six species in this family are known to feed on blood. This habit of feeding on blood is most likely passed down via the family.
The vampire snail gets its name because it feeds on the blood of sleeping fish. Colubraria reticulata can be found in tropical and subtropical rocky and coral settings and temperate oceans. Furthermore, they are located in Benthic, one of a body of water’s ecological areas. It consists of the sediment surface, the bottom (the ocean floor or the bottom of a lake), and some subsurface layers.
The majority of Neogastropoda members is gonochoric and broadcast spawners. These snails begin their lives as embryos, which evolve into planktonic trochophore larvae. They develop into juvenile veligers before becoming fully grown adults after the larval stage. The shell’s length ranges from 10 to 64 millimeters. Sicily is the type of location. It can also be found off the coast of West Africa. They’re also found in the Southwest Mediterranean Sea and aren’t extensively distributed species.
When the fish are sleeping, the vampire snail eats. Their modified mouthpart can slice flesh like a scalpel. A mounted proboscis protrudes from their mouth. These snails have a long, narrow snout to feed on fish blood. The proboscis expands its length after it makes contact with the fish’s epidermis to access the blood vessel. Their snout may stretch three times its body length, allowing them to avoid many fish’s blood-sucking defenses. The mucus sleeping sack of the parrotfish is an example.
Physa is a genus of freshwater snails that are left-handed or sinistral, air-breathing, and belong to the Physical subfamily of the Physidae family. These snails eat algae, diatoms, and debris.
Like all other members of the Physidae family, these tiny snails have sinistral shells, which mean that when the spire is facing up and the aperture is facing the viewer, the aperture is on the left side. Physa species have a long and wide orifice, a pointy spire, and no operculum on their shells. The shells are light and corneous, with a translucent appearance.
What is the biggest snail in the world?
The largest land snail ever recorded according to Guinness World Records is an African Land Snail. As mentioned before, those are the largest land gastropod. However, this one was extremely large (or long if you prefer). According to the record, this Achatina achatina was 15.5 inches (39.3 cm) from snout to tail. Its weight was 2 lb (900 g). Originated from Sierra Leon but lived in the UK by the name Gee Geronimo. Although it was recorded in 1978, this record wasn’t broken yet.
The largest water snail title belongs to the Syrinx aruanus. Those sea snails can reach as size of 35.8 inches (91 cm) and weight of 40 lb (18 kg). They live in the Australia and therefore, got the name Australian trumpet. However, they can also be found in nearby areas like eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. With that size and weight, they are clearly the biggest gastropod in the world. Their unique shell size and structure made it famous among shell collectors.
What is the smallest snail in the world?
Angustopila dominikae is the smallest snail in the world. Its size is less than 0.03 inches (0.86mm). They are round with gray color shell. The Angustopila dominikae was discovered in southern parts of China. They were found in limestone caves and cliffs. Surprisingly enough, researchers weren’t able to find too many locations where this snail lives. As a result, they are considered as Critically Endangered.
What is the fastest snail in the world?
We all know snails are slow. When something is that slow, the most logical thing to do is a race to determine who is the fastest. Every year in July, the city of Congham in Norfolk, UK, is conducting a snail race. The race is 13 inches (33 cm) circular course. 150 snails are competing for the fastest snail title.
The current title for the champion of champions belongs to Archie. In 1995, Archie completed the course in whooping time of exactly 2 minutes. In second place for all time fast, is Sammy. Sammy snail completed made it to the finish line in 2 minutes and 38 seconds.
This race is been held every year since 1970 with the exception of 2019 and 2020 when it was canceled due to COVID-19.
Marla is our newest content contributor. She is a mother of 2 lovely girls and recently added Gizzle, a garden snail into her family. She started in Escargot World as a graphic designer but our cute snails just won her over. She writes about snail pets and snail facts.