Achatina – a real giant in the world of land snails, the representative of the shellfish can reach 40 cm in Addition, the snail is extremely prolific: at a time she lays at least 100 eggs, but most often their number is approaching 600 pieces!
The historical homeland is Africa hot, but now these amazing creatures can be seen almost all over the globe. Get to know them better.
Learn African snail Achatina by the following features of the shell:
- Length of 10-20 cm.
- The conical shape
- Swirls counterclockwise.
- The number of whorls old individuals, up to 9.
- Colour is brown-yellow, pattern striped, but may vary depending on living conditions and nutrition.
Achatina are hermaphroditic – one species combines the male and female sex organs. The pregnant found, but rarely, usually for reproduction requires two individuals.
Interestingly, in the tropics these giants are pests, causing substantial damage to the sugarcane crop, therefore, their breeding is banned. But in Russia, in natural conditions they do not survive, so Achatina may only be distributed as Pets.
The African snail is the night people, day prefer to dig into the soil and sleep. But often in wet weather they can be active in the daytime. The average lifespan of home of the snails – about 6 years, with good care and cleaning can live up to 10 years.
Achatina African land molluscs of considerable size, with a yellowish-brown shell, decorated with dark pattern. In nature we find about a hundred different types, but most commonly as Pets choose the following snails:
- The snail Achatina Fulica. One of the most common types bought in pet stores for home detention. The size of the largest specimens up to 20 cm, color shell – red, brown, black. This species is distinguished by simplicity in content and nutrition.
- The snail of Achatina reticulata. Clam with good care can reach 20 cm, has a yellow-brown shell with distinctive patterns of dots or stripes. Head painted in brown or black, the rim body light.
- The snail of Achatina Immaculata. Features a variety of options of color (the shell can be from light beige to dark walnut and even black), but have to have a strip from the head to the beginning of the shell. This is a very unusual snail native to South-Eastern Africa, sociable, active, but very voracious.
- The snail of Achatina albopicta. The birthplace of such snails are Kenya, Tanzania. The shell reaches a length of 16 cm, columella on the shell is yellow or white.
- Lemon (irately). Shell has an unusual yellowish color, for which he received its name. Among the Champions in the size of its not attributed because the largest specimen reaches no more than 7 cm in length. However, the representative of the shellfish – viviparous, which distinguishes it from other Achatina. For once you can expect the offspring to 25 tiny snails.
- Brown. There is a similarity with fulikai, the inexperienced eye will not be able to distinguish between these types externally. However, the shell of this Achatina more massive and different semicircular windings. They are very inquisitive and prolific snail, which is not afraid of human interaction.
- Tiger, or Achatina ordinary. The maximum length in captivity – 22 cm, color shell is possible in yellow or orange tones with black or dark brown stripes that gave the snails name. It is a quiet and friendly gastropod.
In pet stores most often found Achatina Fulica, due to the fact that this kind of very low maintenance and does not need large amounts of food.
The content of the snails at home
Deciding on the acquisition of giant Achatina should prepare clams housing. The best way to do this, fit an aquarium or terrarium, and should try to ensure a snail free living space is on one individual not less than 10 liters.
Housing should be equipped with a cover, otherwise the clams can escape, but air circulation should make a few small holes.
The bottom of the aquarium should be covered with soil, preferably containing a small amount of peat. The top soil sprinkled with loose sand or coconut substrate. Do not use with lid clay, fat clay loam, rotten bark.
Important! To home-cooked snails did not allocate the abundance of mucus, the soil should be moistened daily using a spray bottle.
To maintain the aquarium to clean the soil on a weekly basis, and complete replacement of the be done every six months to a year, and if Pets much more often. To “house” Achatina looked more interesting, you can decorate it with ceramic decor, to plant some ferns or other plants that do not create high humidity.
The humidity in the house should be about 70 %.
To monitor this indicator, you can purchase a hydrometer, and you can just follow the behavior of Pets:
- If they are constantly hanging on the ceiling or walls of the aquarium – so it has excess moisture.
- If they tend to burrow into the ground is insufficient.
Very important to maintain the temperature regime from 23 to 28°C, because of the snail – came from hot Africa. However, do not place the aquarium close to an open window or batteries. As a rule, heaters purchasing not required, room temperature is perfectly acceptable. Caring for snails Achatina special problems does not deliver, it will handle even a beginner.
Rules of feeding
In nature, food for Achatina are green plants: young individuals prefer fresh stems, and rotting remains. While the older Achatina, the more she eats. To shell clams eat dead mollusk shells or egg shells. This knowledge will help to decide what to feed Achatina home.
Achatina important to feed.
Should follow this schedule:
- Young individuals eat once a day.
- Adults and older – every 2-3 days.
The menu snails can safely add the following plants:
- lettuce, grapes;
Many snails are happy to regale with cabbage leaves, sliced carrots. To make the diet rich with carbohydrates, should feed Pets or bran cereal. To shell Achatina, especially in young individuals, was strong and healthy, should give them the opportunity to obtain the calcium contained in an egg shell, chalk, also you can buy special mineral supplements for the snails.
Be sure to provide the snails free access to clean water, it will help to normalize the metabolism of mucus. However, the fluid tank should not choose a very large clam drowned.
At a young age Achatina able to form only spermatozoa, oocytes appear only in older clams. If you mate two equal size specimens, the probability of bilateral fertilization. If one snail has a larger size, then it will act as a female.
To produce offspring at home Achatina starting at age 6 months and older, the incubation period can take up to two months.
Important! Wishing to obtain offspring from their Achatina should provide adequate thickness of soil, otherwise they will appear to multiply.
The number of eggs per clutch up to 200, during the year, possibly up to 6 batches. The size of the eggs about 4 mm, the shape they are similar to chicken, the same white color.
Among the most common diseases of Achatina are the following:
- Disease of the shell. Deformation and roughness of the shell can occur due to high humidity in the aquarium, fungal infection, deficiency/excess calcium, lack of vitamin A. Over time it will become noticeable that the shell becomes more brittle, scaly and foliated. For the treatment of gastropods in the diet of a pet should add more foods rich in calcium. Food should be added the crushed shell or chalk.
- Household damage to the shell. Often moving on the walls and the roof of the aquarium, the snail may fall and hit a piece of shell. It’s not terrible, after a short time injury will again be covered with a layer of shell. However, the cleavage better immediately treated with antiseptic – this will help to avoid infection. To restore the armor will help foods rich in calcium.
- Worms . They can be seen with the naked eye, as well as to recognize the lack of appetite in the cochlea. Worms are very dangerous, without treatment, can lead to the death of Achatina. To remove them should be included in the diet of pet crushed pumpkin seeds, carrot, chamomile flowers, cucumbers.
- Parasites . Can appear in aquariums that are not kept clean, from contact with other individuals, infested, or contaminated substrate. To recognize can be sluggish, lethargic behavior of the mollusk, lack of appetite, white plaque and mucus that covered the body. To cure Achatina will help pesticide for reptiles in the form of an aerosol. Then you should make a General cleaning in the home of a snail, she herself to wash the shell clean tooth powder, spread with the ointment from propolis. In order to prevent the occurrence of parasites should be wiped Achatina decoction of chamomile flowers.
- Spontaneous neoplasms (non – malignant and malignant). Their reasons are diverse: the use of chemicals when cleaning the aquarium, black soil, pesticides that got on the food. Often such education can lead to the death of Achatina and treatment cannot be.
The disease is always easier to prevent than to cure, that’s why you should take a complex of preventive measures to contain the dwelling snails clean to prevent excessive or insufficient moisture, to ensure shellfish calcium.