Fun Glass Snail Facts For Kids

Rhea Nischal
May 04, 2023 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Diya Patel
Discover fascinating glass snail facts about its glossy appearance, habitats, and more!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.5 Min

Glass snails are a member of the family Oxychilidae. You can see the body of the snail through its translucent shell.

The common name of glass snails originated thanks to this major characteristic, their translucent shell! These snails are land snails that can breathe air through their basic single lung that they have evolved. Their respiration process is unlike that of marine snails, which respire with the help of a single gill.

The majority of the population of glass snails is omnivorous. They feed upon a variety of things including dead and living plants, feces, fungi, earthworms, sowbugs, other snails, and their eggs.

These magnificent creatures can be found in a garden, greenhouse, forest, or nursery and these species have a unique glossy and smooth translucent shell.

These species were initially found in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Poland, Ireland, New Zealand, and Singapore, but they have expanded their geographic range to Columbia, California, and Latvia as well. We suggest you keep reading to know more about these amazing little glass snails!

If you love reading these cool facts about glass snails, you can read our facts about the sea slug and the apple snail too!

Glass Snail Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a glass snail?

It is a type of snail belonging to the family Oxychilidae and the genus Oxychilus. The color of this species varies between yellow-brown, gray, blue, and cream. The biggest of these species of snails is the dark-bodied glass snail, Oxychilus draparnaudi. As this species of snail belongs to the phylum Mollusca, it can be known as a mollusk.

What class of animal does a glass snail belong to?

Glass snails belong to the class Gastropoda.

How many glass snails are there in the world?

The population of these snails has not been evaluated yet, however, their population trend seems to be increasing.

Where does a glass snail live?

These glossy and smooth glass snails are terrestrial and can be found dwelling in a variety of habitats like a garden, greenhouse, forest, or nursery. One type of glass snail, Oxychilus alliarius, inhabits Ireland, Great Britain, Poland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Columbia, California, and Latvia.

Oxychilus draparnaudi glass snails can be found in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Ireland, and Singapore. The Oxychilus cellarius (common name: cellar glass snail) can be spotted in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, and Poland.

What is a glass snail's habitat?

These smooth-skinned glass snails have a broad range of habitats where they reside in wet areas behind stones and other objects. The main place of preference for these land snails is usually a garden, greenhouse, forest, or nursery.

Glass snails are mostly active at night, that is, they are nocturnal. In the Alps, the maximum altitude at which these species have been observed to occur is approximately 5905 ft (1,800 m).

Who do glass snails live with?

These snails have a gregarious nature and you can often find plenty of snail trails in a garden. These species can increase in population very fast and live close to each other.

How long does a glass snail live?

Cellar glass snails, Oxychilus cellarius,  have a lifespan of 12-14 months.

How do they reproduce?

The mating behavior of these species includes the use of love darts and these animals are hermaphrodites. Glass snails have both female and male parts.

One snail in a couple has to take up the role of performing the reproductive functions of a female, which includes being stabbed by the love dart, known as gypsobelum.

This dart includes sperm as well as nutrients and it feels painful to the snail at the receiving end. They can lay 400+ eggs that have a diameter of 0.059 in (1.5 mm) and are white.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Oxychilus alliarius as per the IUCN's Red List is ‘Least Concern’. The conservation status of the cellar glass snail (Oxychilus cellarius) and Draparnaud's glass snail (Oxychilus draparnaudi) are currently not evaluated.

Glass Snail Fun Facts

What do glass snails look like?

Features like the number of whorls (spirals of shell), their bellybutton (called the umbilicus), and their color, length, and height are all taken into consideration to distinguish different species and subspecies of snails. The belly button (umbilicus) is a small opening present at the whorls' center in the shell's underside.

The biggest of all glass snails is the Oxychilus draparnaudi, having the common name 'dark-bodied glass snail'. The exposed softer parts of its body are of a striking dark blue color with gray undertones.

It has a shell that can reach a maximum size of 0.55 in (14 mm). The glossy shell has a translucent yellowish-brown tint with a whiter underside.

The Oxychilus alliarius, (commonly named the garlic snail or garlic glass snail), has a red-green shell with a bluish body. The cellar glass snail (Oxychilus cellarius) is pale blue.

Glass snails can be found in a garden or a forest.

How cute are they?

These species of snails are especially captivating to look at because of their unique transparent shell and soft body. They are cute enough to be kept as pets by some people and can often be seen in people's gardens.

How do they communicate?

Glass snails communicate by chemical substances called pheromones. They usually leave a trail of these to lure a female snail.

How big is a glass snail?

The glass snail has a length range of 0.27-0.55 in (7–14 mm) and the height of its shell ranges between 0.1-0.2 in (4.5–6 mm).

How fast can a glass snail move?

The glass snail is a slow mover. The average snail speed is 1.4 ft/s (1 m/s).

How much does a glass snail weigh?

The weight of glass snails is not yet known. More generally, the average snails weigh 0.88-1.58 oz (25-45 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Glass snails are hermaphrodites so don't have male and female names.

What would you call a baby glass snail?

A baby glass snail is simply called a baby snail.

What do they eat?

These species prey upon fungi, earthworms, sowbugs, other snails, and their eggs and also eat dead and living plants and feces. Their predators include hedgehogs, slow worms, beetles, toads, flatworms, leeches, and centipedes.

Are they poisonous?

No, these species of snails are not poisonous, but the cellar garlic snail (Oxychilus cellarius) emits an unpleasant garlic odor when it feels threatened. This is the reason why they are known as garlic snails.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, these snails can make decent pets for short periods.

Did you know...

Glass snails appeared on Earth 20.44 million years ago!

Do glass snails eat other snails?

Yes, glass snails eat other snails and their eggs. They hide under fallen leaves, beneath plants and pebbles, where predating on other snails is easy.

Keeping glass snails

This animal can be kept in a glass terrarium. They have small bodies so they are easy to keep in captivity. You can decorate their enclosure with plants and pebbles to recreate their natural habitat of gardens.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these anchor worm facts and deathwatch beetle facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Glass snail coloring pages.

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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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Fact-checked by Diya Patel

Bachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

Diya Patel picture

Diya PatelBachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

A member of Kidadl's fact-checking team, Diya is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science from Ahmedabad University with an interest in exploring other fields. As part of her degree, she has taken classes in communications and writing to expand her knowledge and skills.

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