Readers’ Questions – Are These Eggs?

Hello, my name is Emma and I was wondering if you could help me and answer a question about my pet snail.

 

He/she is called Gary and I have had her for just over a year now, Gary originally came from my mums nursery but I’ve looked after him in my room since I looked far him at Christmas 2013, he has a large tank water and I feed him cucumber be regularly although he has not been given a cuttlefish in a while.

 

My concern is whilst I was spraying his soil with water I noted two large egg like things on his right side, I’ve done some research but can’t seem to find anything, I’ve included a picture to help. I would really appreciate your help as I only know the basics about African land snails and I am becoming worried about him.

 

Kind regards,
Emma

 

giant african land snail eggs

Hi Emma,

My snail is called Gary too! Are you a Spongebob fan? :)

Anyway, those definitely look like snail eggs – are they attached to him or can you get them off? If they come off I think they probably eggs that have got stuck to him somehow. You might want to check under the soil for more and then freeze them so you don’t end up with hundreds of babies.

Good luck!

Definitely a Spongebob fan :)

 

 

They did come off Gary soon after I sent the email and so figured they were probably eggs. I definitely did not expect Gary to be laying eggs anytime soon!

Readers’ Questions – At What Age do GALS Lay Eggs?

Hi, I’m just wondering when baby land snails are old enough to lay eggs.

Thanks!

Jenni

Hi Jenni,

Giant African land snails can start breeding at around 6 months old. The larger of the two snails is usually the one who lays the eggs. Also, snails are hermaphrodites, meaning that one snail is both both male and female and although they don’t often self fertilise, it is not unheard of, so having a single snail won’t guarantee that you won’t end up with eggs or baby snails.

You can learn more about the breeding habits of snails on our breeding and eggs page.

Hope that helps!

Readers’ Questions – Leftover Egg Shell

Hi, I have 2 baby African land snails which hatched 10 days ago and one still has about half of it’s egg shell over the top of it’s shell. I am concerned this may affect the development of it’s shell as it does not seem to be growing quite as quickly as the other one. It is active, feeding on leaves and I have seen it eating both cuttlefish and oyster shell in the tank. Any advice gratefully received!

 

Many thanks,
Michelle Gibson

Hi Michelle,

Just like humans, snails can grow at different rates, so I wouldn’t worry too much, expecially as your snail seems to be eating fine. However, if you can brush the leftover egg shell off your snail, then that would probably help and also make him/her more comfortable.

Hope that helps, and good luck with your new snails!

Readers Questions – How Long Do I Freeze Eggs For?

Hi,

 

I have just acquired 2 African land snail babies for my children that I adore, but I am worried about the ease of breeding and destroying the eggs. I have read several articles on different Web sites and the only way I could destroy the eggs without feeling really cruel is to freeze them, but it doesn’t say anywhere how long to freeze them for and what to do with them after you’ve frozen them. Do I just bin them? Do they need to stay frozen as When they thaw out they become viable again? I don’t want to be over run with babies that I can’t look after or re-home.
 
Can you help?
Thanks,
Jackie

Hi Jackie!

You are right, freezing eggs is the best way to make sure they don’t hatch and it’s not cruel at all.

Leaving the eggs in the freezer overnight is usually long enough and once eggs are frozen the embryo will die, so no, they don’t become viable after you take them out of the freezer.

Putting them in the bin should be fine, or you could bury them if you want to.

Good luck with your new snails!