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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

17 Apple Snail Facts You’ll Never Forget

Here are apple snail facts about the apple snail invasive species.

If you are an aquarium enthusiast and like to keep fishes, you must be aware of how tough the task is? You have to regularly clean the water so that your fishes can breathe by removing the detritus and whatever your fish has not eaten. How about taking the help the apple snail, a great choice that can do all this. These small beings are a great addition to your aquarium as they are pretty to see and they clean. Apple snails are native to South America and make an excellent clean-up crew. These are the largest freshwater species and a good addition to your aquarium because, unlike pond snails, they don't cause a nuisance. Moreover, apple snail colors like golden, green, yellow, purple, ivory add to their beauty. The shape of the apple snail shell is oval for most species but there are some species that have a flat shell.

The apple snail Hawaii status is regarded as a pest because it has caused damage to rice farms. The channeled apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) is also called mystery apple snail. They belong to the family Ampullariidae and the class Gastropoda. Snails in this family are unique because they have both gills and lungs, so they have two respiratory structures. Ever since their introduction in the aquarium trade, apple snails have grown in popularity. After reading these facts about the large apple snail, you may also look at sea slug facts and moray eel facts.

Apple Snail Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an apple snail?

Ampullariidae or the apple snail is part of a family of large freshwater snails, aquatic gastropods mollusks with a gill and an operculum. They are named apple snails because one species (giant apple snail) of these snails can grow up to a size of an apple. Other types of apple snails found are blue apple snail, zebra apple snail, purple apple snail, and more. Populations of apple snails can be found in aquariums as pets because of their size. They also prefer to be with other snails.

What class of animal does an apple snail belong to?

The channeled apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) belongs to the class gastropoda. It is a snail species that have both lungs and gills. In order to breed, the island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) species requires a male and a female, as they are gonochoristic. These snails lay pink eggs. Various commercial varieties have been bred for aquarium trade, too.

How many apple snails are there in the world?

The population of freshwater apple snail arthropods all around the world is estimated to be anywhere between 85,000-1,50,000 , of which 80-85% are gastropods. There are plenty of the members of island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) species also present in the wild. They cannot survive low winter temperatures.

Where does an apple snail live?

Pomacea canaliculata, the channeled apple snail, is a freshwater species. Channeled apple snail populations are found in lakes, ponds, swamps throughout the native range of the Amazon inferior basin. They are usually found in submerged waters. The well known predators for this species include insects, fish, amphibians, and crocodilians.  

What is an apple snail's habitat?

Apple snails live in varied ranges of swamps, ditches, ponds to lakes, and rivers. Island apple snail species (Pomacea insularum) prefer lentic water above streaming water for their habitat. However, only a few apple snail species have adapted to river water.

Who do apple snails live with?

They are calm animals; they live with any fish and even with other snails. They are common pond or aquarium species.

How long does an apple snail live?

An apple snail can live up to three years at low temperatures. Snails of ten years old have also been reported. Lanistes nyassanus have been said to live as long as 10 years with an average lifespan of 5-8 years. At a temperature of 25°C, they live up to 12-16 months only.

How do they reproduce?

Channeled apple snail breeding season is between March to November. Apple snails have differentiated counterparts and are not considered hermaphrodite in contrast to other snails. The male attaches sperm to the female’s egg. After this, females lay apple snail eggs that float on the surface. The eggs are pinkish and uniquely bright-colored.

What is their conservation status?

Apple snails are not facing any threat to their existence. There are more than 65,000 apple snail species. These snails are quite sensitive to toxins in the water, and it is one of the reasons for their death. They are widely used for pet trade and aquarium trade.

Apple Snail Fun Facts

What do apple snails look like?

Channeled apple snails (Pomacea canaliculata) come in various colors. The most common species of apple snail, pomacea diffusa (spike-topped apple snail), has colors ranging from brown to yellow, even albino and blue with or without banding. Another species of Pomacea canaliculata (golden apple snail) is globular, and has colors like brown, black and yellowish tan. A channeled apple snail is a sizeable invasive species that can grow up to three inches. Its size can range from 1.5-3 inches.

An apple snail is 2-3 inches long.

How cute are they?

Channeled apple snails (Pomacea canaliculata) are cute as they are so small. They are also found in different colors and sizes. They live with any type of fish and other snails.

How do they communicate?

They communicate via chemical substances, although there is not much known about them. A strong chemical is used to communicate when it's breeding time.

How big is an apple snail?

The apple snail size can grow as big as 5 in, but some species are known to be as big as an apple. Pomacea maculata, a snail species, grow get as big as 6 in.

How fast can an apple snail move?

Apple snails can move at speeds of around 85 mph. This is an insane speed at which these snails can move.

How much does an apple snail weigh?

An apple snail can weigh up to 1.9 oz. It can weigh even more depending on the type of nutrition it gets.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no separate name for females and males. Although other snail species are hermaphrodites, Apple snails are not and have separate male and female sexual counterparts.

What would you call a baby apple snail?

Apple snail babies are called protoconch. These protoconches are colorless and very soft. It usually takes three to four weeks for the growth or hatching of eggs.

What do they eat?

Apple snail food includes anything that is rotting and can be torn with their mouth. The apple snail diet includes aquatic vegetation and this is why these freshwater snails are called cleaners of aquariums. But by eating aquatic vegetation, they tend to destroy the appearance of an aquarium.

Are they poisonous?

The channelled apple snail is an invasive species from South America. In addition to agricultural and ecological damages, these snails are a threat to human health.  The apple snail eggs' toxic nature makes them unsuitable for human consumption.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, this invasive species makes an excellent pet for aquarium enthusiasts. These are easy to maintain and don't need to be taken out for a walk. But you must have some basic knowledge of apple snail care before you get them home. Their eggs are known to be toxic in nature and the pink egg masses should be scraped away. The egg masses can be removed manually as well as mechanically.

Did you know...

The pink eggs of a channeled apple snail are dangerous to touch as they can cause serious health issues. These eggs are covered in a slime-like substance. This slime contains rat lungworm. So it is recommended that the egg masses are not touched as the powerful neurotoxin can do harm to human health. These pink egg masses should be removed as soon as possible.

At a temperature above 25 degree Celsius, an apple snail lifespan is said to be between 15-18 months.

Most people confuse apple snails with mystery snails (Pomacea bridgesii). But when you compare apple snail vs mystery snail, you will realize that all mystery snails (Pomacea bridgesii) are apple snails but not all apple snails are mystery snails.

In Hawaii, apple snails are categorized as an invasive species for the damage they cause to the rice fields.

How is an apple snail's circulatory system different to a human's?

Apple snails have an open circulatory system, unlike the closed one that humans exhibit. This means that the heart pumps blood, but instead of pumping blood through veins, the organs are bathed into the blood pushed by the heart.

Are apples snails hermaphrodites?

No, unlike other snails, apple snails are not hermaphrodites. This invasive species has different male and female sexual organs. They reproduce when the temperature increases and a lot of food is available, but with no male snail present, the females produce infertile eggs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including atlas beetle, or ground beetle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our apple snail coloring pages.

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