There giant snail or achatina achatina is a snail native to Africa that is part of the Achatinidae family: a species included in the list of the 100 most invasive in the world.
Giant snail: characteristics
The giant snail is the largest snail in the world: the largest specimen ever recorded is 39 cm long with a shell of 27 cm and a weight of about 1 kg.
The achatina achatina is easy to distinguish from other specimens belonging to the same family: the achatina and the archachatina.
There giant snail like all achatine it has a shell that ends in a pointed way, so this already makes us rule out that it could be an archachatina: moreover, the latter has a totally different shell color.
The shell of the giant snail is very particular: its color resembles that of the tiger being composed of yellow and black stripes.
This last feature described makes the giant snail one in a kind.
The skin color of achatina achatina varies depending on the individual but tends to be dark in color: some individuals have a color that varies from pink to red with the constant shades tending to black.
Giant snail: how to breed it
The giant snail is a very simple specimen to breed even if, as we will see later, it is not easy to make it reproduce.
This type of snail prefers temperatures ranging between 26 C ° and 28 C °: below 10 C ° the giant snail is unable to survive while between 10 C ° and 19 C ° the snail falls into hibernation.
The advice I give you is to prevent the hibernation of snails that have not yet fully developed because they would risk not surviving. To let snails go into hibernation it is also very important that they are fed carefully.
To make the giant snail grow better it is recommended to use a terrarium special: useful to maintain the ideal climate and to avoid the escape of these individuals which would cause enormous damage to crops.
The absolute best terrariums for giant snails are glass ones with double air intakes: one at the bottom, one on one side and one above.
The soil must be deep enough to allow your giant snail to bury itself: you will need to use a soft soil that absorbs water well in order to ensure the right humidity.
Since the giant snail is a very lazy animal, there is no need to put branches inside the terrarium to make it climb.
Giant snail: feeding
The giant snail is an omnivorous animal: each individual, as for humans, has different tastes.
It is not uncommon to see snails feeding on something that others do not like, preferring a different food.
There diet of the giant snail must consist mostly of vegetables and minimally meat.
Among the most popular vegetables in achatina achatina we certainly find salad, radicchio, tomatoes and cucumbers: absolutely avoid acidic or spicy foods.
The most important nutrient that must always be available to the giant snail is one source of calcium: achatina achatina constantly needs calcium to form its shell.
To this end, I recommend that you introduce some in the terrarium cuttlefish bone which as you probably know are composed entirely of calcium and carbonate.
The giant snails inside their mouths have many small teeth that they use to scratch food and ingest it: these small teeth wear out and regenerate continuously.
Giant snail: reproduction
The giant snail is an incomplete hermaphrodite: both sexes are present in a single specimen but to fertilize it needs the sperm of another individual.
After about 20 days, both specimens lay their eggs in a hole dug in the ground.
The number of eggs varies depending on the specimen: on average 50 to one hundred eggs are laid.
The eggs of the giant snail require a warm climate to hatch: the times vary depending on the type of soil and climate.
Once the giant snails are born, they will not immediately seek food but will begin to feed on their egg. At a later stage they will start looking for more food.
Unlike the other snails belonging to the achatinidae, the achatina achatina does not reproduce very easily as it is not particularly predisposed to mating. Furthermore, even if deposited in an ideal habitat, most of the eggs tend not to hatch. For these reasons, the giant snail is very rare and expensive.
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