The image and the motto “I carry everything with me” on the coat of arms of the Italian Duke of Gonzaga aptly immortalized the image. Most of the species are miniature, but there are those that “carry everything with them” a lot – real giants. So, let’s get acquainted:
These are the 10 biggest snails in the world
1. Giant Australian trumpeter | 90 cm
The name reflects the look. “shell” is similar to a large horn about 90 cm long. Therefore, I would like to call the trumpeter a more solid word “trumpeter”.
It lives off the northern coast of Australia, the shores of the nearest islands of the Indonesian archipelago. It lives in shallow water. Color scheme: Pesochnaya street. Predator-a thunderstorm of sea worms. Judging by the fact that trumpeters gain up to 18 kg of weight, eat worms a lot.
2. Florida horse conch | 60cm
A must-have character in photos of the world’s largest snails. It is similar to the Australian trumpeter, although it is inferior in size (60 cm). However, in terms of size, this is the champion of both Americas. It lives along the American coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It lives in shallow water, like the trumpeter, but is an even more aggressive predator: it devours not only worms but almost everything it can.
It has a very catchy appearance due to the incongruity of colors: a bright orange body and a gray shell. It seems that this scares those inhabitants of shallow water who can eat the “Florida horse conch” themselves while it is small. “Domishche” of this snail is always unique in shape, and therefore is a valuable trophy for divers as a souvenir. Those who are particularly fond of it even eat it!
3. Giant African snail | 5-10 cm
The Scientific name (Achatina fulica) already indicates that it is fulica-giant. The average size is 5-10 cm. Instances up to 20 cm are marked. Naturally, the older it is, the bigger it is.
The birthplace of the largest land snails is the Giant African snail. In the north, it did not survive, but where the climate is close to its native one, it thrives. For locals, it is not exotic. They even fight it! It is a pest due to the terrible appetite for crops. Especially likes sugar cane. Moreover, the greatest harm is caused by young fish that prefer fresh plants.
Older ones, however, over time, increasingly switch to rotting products, sometimes they do not disdain even the corpses of animals. They love the gloom and humidity. They lead a midnight lifestyle, but when it’s cloudy, they can go out to eat during the day.
4. Scutalus | up to 10 cm
Scutalus lives on the bushes of the stony plains of the Peruvian Highlands. Humidity is not very good here, but it is not very important for the scutalus. Sizes up to 10 cm. The unusual shape attracted the attention of artisans from the ancient Maya: decorative items were found using the “shell” of the scutalus, not to mention simple beads.
5. Limicolaria flammea | up to 10 cm
Limicolaria flammea is African but has also spread to the Asian tropics. It has a tubular shell. That’s what it does: sometimes it rises so high above the leg that it looks like some kind of appendage.
Prefers a nocturnal lifestyle. Unpretentious. You can’t say “Slow as you know who” about it. Just the opposite: fast, with a kind of catlike agility. Therefore, for an inattentive owner, this beautiful gastropod creature with black and red contours on the shell can famously “leak” out of the terrarium. It grows up to 10 cm.
6. Tropical arboreal (Caracolus sagemon) | 5-9 cm
Tropical arboreal (Caracolus sagemon), native to Central America. A distinctive feature is an unusual flat striped orange-black shell, twisted counterclockwise, which looks like a mottled inverted cup or pyramidal stone. Different body color options give a very beautiful coloring, for which snails are very much loved by those who keep them at home.
Exclusively vegetarian (except for foods containing calcium), a lover of open water (literally swims). It feels better around its kind. As for the size, it is very dependent on nutrition, and living conditions. When everything is just fine, the Caracolus can be considered a giant, growing up to 15 cm. But this happens rarely, the usual leg length is 5-9 cm.
7. Grape snail | up to 9 cm
The native European grape snail is smaller than the two species described below, but it is a record holder among northern species: the leg (body) can stretch up to 9 cm. The “shell” is large, twisted counterclockwise. It is not an exotic agricultural pest. Headache of winegrowers.
However, it feeds on the shoots of not only grapes but also other garden plants. But you can take revenge on it by eating! In the territories of modern Italy and France, it has been bred as a delicacy since ancient times. Since it is consumed as a food product, it is dangerous for human health (it is very vulnerable to various parasites).
8. Turkish snail | 4-6 cm
Turkish snail, much more often it is called a mountain. It’s just that this species was first described in Turkey. In general, this gastropod lives in the mountainous regions of southern Europe, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, and Crimea. That is, this snail can be called the largest of the Russian ones.
It is similar in lifestyle to the South American scutalus. Prefers river valleys and surrounding streams. During a drought, it can fall asleep. It is one of the largest in Europe, especially in the Middle East (where humidity is not very good). The shell diameter is 4-6 cm.
9. Decollate snail | up to 5 cm
Decollate snail (Rumina decollata) has a shell in the form of a truncated cone and reaches a size of up to 5 cm. This species was discovered in 1758 in North America, later transported to Europe, and also became an inhabitant of the Mediterranean Sea. A snail that is nocturnal and feeds on plants.
10. Moon snail | up to 5 cm
The moon snail (Naticidae) is a predatory marine snail reaching up to 5 cm in size. It has a white spherical shell with a smooth surface and a slight curl. The dimensions of the shell are relatively small 1.7-3 cm.
Features of keeping large domestic snails Achatina
For a wildlife lover, it has long been no secret that you can look for a long time not only at running water and fire but also at a creature with a shell on its leg, slowly moving about its snail business. It is not surprising, therefore, that they are not uncommon as pets.
Several species from our “giant” top can be kept at home. Your bathroom will not be enough to support the life of a trumpeter or a horse, but Achatina, “grapes”, caracoluses, limicolars feel good in an artificial habitat.
Let’s tell, perhaps, about the largest snails kept at home – Achatina, which grow to the size of an adult’s palm. What do they need to be as comfortable as possible? What is good for them and what is bad?
A simple old aquarium or even a plastic box can become a home for them. The second option will not in the least confuse the inhabitants, which already love the dusk, but it will not be very convenient for you to watch the pets. A cardboard box is not suitable: Achatinas can eat meat, and they can even cope with thick paper: the walls of such a “house” will be gnawed.
Space matters. Count as follows: for one snail, the volume is 10 liters.
Be sure to close the house with a lid (plexiglass or plastic). They are not fast, but constantly moving creatures.
Air holes must be made in the lid.
The “floor” should be loose soil, similar to that in flower shops for transplanting flowers. Pets should crawl on it without problems, with pleasure. Soil moisture is determined by the behavior of gastropods. They move little on the ground and are generally sluggish – too dry, avoid descending on it at all – too wet.
Need a pool. In nature, “Africans” love puddles. About a puddle in a fixed container should be water. Not more! Achatina loves water, but they cannot swim, they can choke. Water is changed once a week. Soil – once every 1-3 months. You can plant live plants, just don’t be surprised that someone will taste them.
Another important point is the air temperature. Our pets are Tropicana: they need 26 degrees plus temperatures. They will not die, of course, even at 20, but after 24 their vital activity stops: they become lethargic and inactive. The desired temperature can be easily achieved with a dim lamp. However, they do not need light, it even interferes with them.
That’s all. All you need is food. And then after two or three days (babies up to six months are fed every other day). As experience shows, they eat almost all raw plant foods. Some disdain perhaps hard vegetables (potatoes, carrots). Some snails like bread, cookies, oatmeal, and grated cereals.
You can sometimes diversify the menu with pieces of meat or boiled eggs. But they do not eat a lot of such food, and the young will not touch it at all. It is better to feed at night. Be sure to have ground eggshells or natural chalk in the aquarium.
Achatinas allow themselves to be abandoned for almost a month. Without food, water, and at low temperatures, they hibernate, in which they probably dream of the returned owner. You can return them to an active life by spraying them with water and raising the air temperature. But the real owner is unlikely to allow his pets to go into suspended animation. Proper care will allow them to live with you for about 10 years.