Apple Snail – Mystery Snail
Apple Snail – Mystery Snail

Apple Snail – Mystery Snail

By fishalicious

Family: Ampullariidae

Several Mystery Snail Genera & Distribution:

Asolene, Felipponea, Marisa, and Pomacea are from South America

The genera Afropomus, Lanistes, and Saulea are found in Africa

The genus Pila is native to both Africa and Asia

The biggest freshwater snails in the world are given a closer look here. When properly cared for they can easily reach 15cm / 6 inches. They are not fussy when it comes to water parameters although care should be taken in low alkaline water. Temp: 18 - 28°C / 65 – 82F

Some of the most popular Mystery Snails:
Pomacea bridgesii are the most commonly found and kept in our aquariums – they come in all colors of the rainbow and do not eat plants.

Pomacea canaliculata is also often found unfortunately these do eat aquatic plants they are more round than the bridgesii. These are also available in many different colors.

Marisa cornuarietis also known as the Giant Ramshorn Snail are also very popular in the aquarium trade but do not actually belong to the apple snail family they are however very often sold as apple snails in shops.

Pomacea paludosa also known as the Florida Apple Snail can also be purchased and are usually collected from ponds & ditches in Florida.

Apple Snail
Apple Snail - picture by nanaglen2001
Most apple snails will play dead for the first few days in the aquaium until it has acclimatized. They have shell doors which the can close in the case of a drought which protects them from drying out. What is the most amazing is their branchial respiration, they have both gills & lungs. The gills are found on the right side of the body allowing them to breathe under water and the lungs are on the left side of the body allowing them to respirate air. The reason for this is that they are true scavengers – if food below water becomes scarce they can go above water in search of nourishment. Pomacea and Pila also have a siphon which they can extend out of the water to breathe

Feeding Mystery Snails

They are true scavengers and will clean up anything left over from feeding the fish as well as algae. All of them will also eat your aquatic plants with the exception of the Pomacea bridgesii.

Breeding Mystery Snails

They are not hermaphroditic like most snails so a male & female are needed for breeding. It is impossible to sex them until breeding actually takes place. High temperatures and plenty of food will stimulate them to breed. Pomacea, Pila and Asolene/Pomella will all deposit their eggs above the waterline to keep the eggs safe from fish. The eggs are big calcareous clutches which stay above the waterline for around 2-4 weeks depending on the temperature, the little snails will hatch and drop into the water.

apple snail
Apple snail - picture by nanaglen2001

Mystery snail
picture by nanaglen2001

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