Spixi snails
Spixi snails

Spixi snails

Common name: Spixi snail, zebra snail, zebra apple snail, spixi apple snail.
Scientific name:
Asolene spixi

The spixi snail is also known as the zebra apple snail and it easy to understand why once you see it. This snail has got a smooth shell with a yellow or white base color and dark brown to almost black spiral stripes on it, which gives it a zebra pattern. The body of the snail can be yellow to brown with dark spots. This species has fairly long tentacles in comparison to the body. The spixi snail move over flat surfaces in a very special way that by many is described as “walking” since it bends its foot to take ”steps”. The pixi snail is one of the most active apple snail species.

The spixi snail originally comes from south-eastern Brazil; primarily from the area surrounding Rio Parana and Rio Grande do sul where they are found in everything from ditches to lakes and ponds. There are reports of pixi snails being found in other rivers as well. There are some yet unidentified snail populations in Brazil that might be Spixi snail populations or sub species of Asolene spixi.

Spixi snails do well in most types of friendly aquarium setups with soft to medium hard water and a pH-value that is acidic to neutral. Pixi snails are very active, but they are also slower than most other apple snails.  It is important to keep the water temperature up when keeping this species as they can get very inactive in colder water. This has to do with their habit in the wild; the pixi snail will semi-bury itself in the bottom during the winter and wait there until the water becomes warmer in the spring. The pixi snail is a nocturnal species.

The Pixie snail eats other snails and will try to eat smaller snails such as Malaysian trumpet snails. They often fail as the Malaysian trumpet snail can retract further into the shell than the Spixi snail can reach. Some aquarists have tested using this snail to combat other snails in aquariums. The success of such experiments varies, but it seems like although pixi snails eat snails and snail eggs they seldom make an impact on other snail populations in an aquarium. Perhaps a sufficiently large population of Spixi snails can give a better result.

Spixi snails are like most other snails relatively easy to breed and the young snails grow fast. Older snail grows quite slow. The eggs are laid beneath the surface, often among plants and are embedded in a gelatinous mass. The eggs will usually hatch within a month. Adult snails eat the eggs of other Spixi snails so it might be a good idea to move the eggs if you want as many as possible of the off spring to survive. The offspring will eat the same food as the adults. The young can sometimes be cannibalistic against even smaller Spixi snails.

Feed the snails a varied diet containing both animal and vegetable matter. Sinking pellets for catfish works well and like most apple snails the pixie snails love pasta and rice.