Snail without a shell?

Other freshwater snails, like MTS, viviparidae, and etc.

Moderator: Board moderators

Snail without a shell?

Postby AndiC on Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:49 am

While I was in the process of moving one of my 10 gallon tanks to a different shelf I noticed a funky critter inching, yes, inching, up the glass of the tank where the water level was at gravel level. At first I thought it was a snail because I first spotted it from the outside of the tank. I reached in to grab it, but there was no shell. There was a knobby area where the shell would have been, but it was fleshy feeling.

I grabbed my camera and took some pics so I could figure out what it was. At first I thought it was some sort of planarian because of the shape of the head and the eye spots as well as the way it moved. Now I'm not so sure.

I learned that snails will move in an inching manner when they are either tangled in something like vegetation or when they are out of water. So that explains that.

I haven't been able to find any documentation related to a snail being able to survive without a shell. I'm guessing if this is a shell-less snail, that its been that way for some time. The reason I say that is because when I grabbed him he didn't have an automatic constricting as if he were trying to retreat into a shell. He instead held tight to the glass.

At this point the little info that I was able to find points to it being a Lymnaea, a pond snail. I do have a few pond snails in that tank. I just didn't think it would be possible to survive without a shell because of the lung.

Here's some pics. The last pic is a pic of the posterior end. What looks like poo is actually part of him. Anyone have any ideas?

ImageImageImage
AndiC
Little snail
Little snail
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:01 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Snail without a shell?

Postby pbgroupie on Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:56 pm

Sadly, that does look like a snail without a shell, and they usually don't live very long after they lose it. Your pictures are wonderful, even though it's a sad subject. I don't see an operculum so I don't think it's an apple snail.
pbgroupie
Advanced moderator snail
Advanced moderator snail
 
Posts: 4212
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:43 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Snail without a shell?

Postby Donya on Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:18 pm

The Lymnaeid ID seems correct, although I'm not certain of the genus.

Snails can lose their shells if the muscle connecting them to the shells is torn. As pbgroupie said, when the snail is completely separated from its shell, it lacks structural support for its organs and won't live for very long.
"That's not a snail...it's a water goat!"--In loving memory of Eatith
- My Research
User avatar
Donya
Advanced moderator snail
Advanced moderator snail
 
Posts: 3395
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2003 10:37 pm
Location: USA

Re: Snail without a shell?

Postby AndiC on Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:31 pm

Thanks for getting back to me, and sorry for my slow response. I need to update my contact info here.

Well, now I know. I was concerned about the lung issue if it was a snail. I suppose my grabbing and tugging on it didn't help matters as far as support goes.

Again, thanks for responding!
Andi
AndiC
Little snail
Little snail
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:01 pm
Location: Minnesota


Return to Other freshwater snails

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron