Mystery snails are South American freshwater snails that can add a dash of bright color to fish tanks. These Ampullariidae family mollusks spend a lot of their time crawling around and munching on fish flakes, particularly during the night hours. With proper care, these snails can bring joy into a home for a couple of years or so.
About the Mystery Snail
The Mystery snail (Pomacea bridgesii) is a freshwater snail known by other names, such as gold snail, apple snail and Inca snail. The natural habitat of the species is the Amazon River basin in South America. Mystery snails appear in a variety of different vivid colors: burgundy, yellow, gold, blue, green, brown and purple. Some of the snails feature stripes, others don't. Mystery snails, unlike many other species of snails, do not reproduce asexually. They are not hermaphroditic, requiring both female and male snails for breeding purposes.
Average Life Span of a Mystery Snail
Mystery snails, on average, stay alive for sometime between 1 and 2 years. With proper care, nutrition and some genetic luck, mystery snails can live longer -- think 3 years or so.
Water temperature can determine the life span of an individual mystery snail. Snails that live in water do not have the ability to manage their own body temperatures. Those that reside within slightly warmer H20 temperatures are more physically active, lively and energetic as a result of elevated metabolisms, and that could shorten their lives. In higher temperatures, a snail will move around at a swifter pace, consume food at a swifter pace and even grow at a swifter pace. The speedier the metabolism of the mystery snail, the speedier the overall development. In any case, tropical and subtropical temperatures are a must for all successful mystery snail living situations.
Mystery Snail Diet
Apart from suitable water temperatures, feeding a mystery snail a proper diet can be a good way to increase chances of longevity. The wee snails have immense appetites and will eat fish food, especially flakes. Algae wafers are another common mystery snail dining preference. Fresh vegetables are a solid option for keeping a mystery snail full and satisfied, whether green beans, cucumber, lettuce, peas or carrots. Mystery snails typically turn their "noses" up at any plants that are alive, as they generally favor dead plant material. However, if a mystery snail is hungry enough and no food is around, it may start eating living plants. Take note and make sure plenty of sustenance is always within access.
Predators and Life Span of Wild Mystery Snails
Predators affect the life spans of mystery snails that live out in the wild, needless to say. Fish prey on adult mystery snails, while birds do the same with the youngsters.
- Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre: Ampullariidae Pomacea
- Fishlore: Pomacea bridgesii
- CAB Direct: Freshwater snail Pomacea bridgesii (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae), life history traits and aquaculture potential
- Ward's Natural Science: Freshwater Snails
- Florida Division of Aquaculture: Apple Snails
- The Aquaphile: Mystery Snail
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Applesnails of Florida Pomacea spp.
Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images