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Achatina reticulata: care for black-headed snail

The Achatina reticulata snail belongs to exotic species that can reach gigantic sizes. Such a pet will become a real decoration of the aquarium and will delight its owner with tenderness and devotion.

In order for the snail to perfectly feel itself and be able to lead an active lifestyle, it is necessary to ensure the proper care of the mollusk. Only in this case Achatina will give healthy offspring and live a long life.

In nature, achatina reticulata is mainly found in Africa. It is a land mollusk and prefers a hot and humid climate.

It is for this reason that it is almost impossible to meet her in Europe and America.

The homeland of the snail is South Africa, but today it can be found in some regions of Australia and Asia that belong to tropical and equatorial zones. A distinctive feature of the mollusk is that it feels great, grows and develops in captivity in the same way as in natural environmental conditions.

But this will be possible only when all the conditions of the pet are met.

To maintain the health of Achatina should create the necessary temperature and provide appropriate feeding to your pet.

Often there is another name Achatina – a giant snail. The mollusk shell can grow up to 25 cm, and the size of the snail itself can reach 30 cm, which is somewhat larger than the palm of an adult.

But the size of the pet does not affect their character. Achatina is a very gentle and tender creature., who will be waiting for the same attitude from his master.

The standard of Achatina reticulum is a grooved house, of a light brown color with slight inclusions and veins. Body color can vary from light beige to brown, but the head is always much darker than the body.

Puberty of these snails occurs at 10-11 months of life.

The growth of the mollusk occurs very quickly. Already by 5 months the snail can reach 18 cm in length.

Puberty occurs by 11 months of life. The snail is born completely deaf.

She breathes with her whole body and even with a shell, in which there are small canaliculi through which air penetrates to the calf. The eyes are located on a flexible antennae on the crown of the head, but the clam sees only those objects that are located at a distance of 2 cm from it.

Snail sense is very well developed. She picks up aromas with her whole body and tentacles.

With the help of the latter, it also determines the shape and texture of surfaces. Also, the tentacles help her determine the degree of illumination of objects.

Too bright light causes the snail to hide in the house, and dim – to look for a warmer place.

On both sides of the shell there are small curls that indicate the age of Achatina. The more of them, the older the individual.

Old mollusks have up to 9 turns on the shell.

In nature, there are several Achatine species, the most beautiful of which is albino. This snail has a white body and a shell, but grows, unlike the others, much more slowly.

An individual with a shell more than 15 cm was not met even once.

Most often snails are silent beings. But at great danger Achatina can squeak very loudly.

In South Asian countries, snails are considered to be true pests. They eat green shoots, devour plaster from buildings.

But in Japan, these mollusks are grown in special nurseries and eat. It is considered a real delicacy.

Under natural conditions, more than 100 species of giant snails can be found. But not all of them are suitable for keeping at home.

Of all the diversity, only 20 species can be kept at home.

The appearance of this snail is determined by the coloring of the individuals, but the exact one can be established only for adult Achatina.

The most popular of them are:

  1. Achatina fulica is a mollusc, which is distinguished by a sedentary and mostly nocturnal lifestyle. During the day, this species of snails prefers to sleep in a secluded corner. A distinctive feature is its shell, which changes color depending on what ate the clam. Its body is rather massive, of a brown shade, with characteristic tubercles. The value can reach 20 cm.
  2. Albino – is fulika, reticulum and tiger. A distinctive feature – a light body with a yellow shell. In length does not grow more than 15 cm.
  3. Tiger – represented by individuals with a barrel-shaped sink, painted in a bright color with dark stripes. Adults can reach 25 cm. It is this species that is listed in the Red Book as the largest snail – 39 cm in length and 900 grams.
  4. The black-headed reticulum – Achatina has a dark, almost black head, and sometimes the whole body. Juveniles have small cherry strips and dots on the shell, which gradually acquires its natural shade.
  5. Immaculate – represented by individuals with a light beige shell, covered with a dark grid pattern. The maximum size of an individual is 17 cm and 200 grams.

All individuals are represented by the coloring of three types: white or albino, beige and brown, black. Achatin feature is that the crossing occurs only within its own species.

In order for Akhatina to feel at home perfectly, she needs to create optimal conditions for living. Otherwise, it may hibernate or die. But financial costs or physical effort is not required.

It is much more important to regular communication with the pet and proper nutrition.

As a house for Achatina can be used as a spacious terrarium, and the usual plastic container with a lid. For a comfortable content of one adult, at least 10 liters is required, and the bottom width should be at least 40 cm.

Before you buy snails, you should think about how many individuals are planned to be kept in one house and whether they will be further bred. Indeed, for several individuals will require a fairly large capacity.

Tightly cover the lid of the terrarium is not worth it. Achatinam requires high-quality ventilation.

But you should not leave a fully open house. The clam will quickly climb the wall and run away.

Do not place hard or sharp decorations in the terrarium, as the snail may be hurt.

The bottom of the tank should be filled with soil. You can buy it in the store or use the usual sand-wood soil with the addition of coconut fiber. Its layer must be sufficient for the snail to dig into it.

As decoration should be used snags, blades of grass and moss. It is impossible to use pebbles of even small size as a decor – a pet can fall from a height and harm itself.

A stable container with water should become an obligatory object of the snail house. Achatina will not only drink, but also bathe.

It is required to maintain optimum soil moisture in the terrarium. To achieve this, the walls of the tank and the pet itself must be sprayed with a spray bottle daily. But splashing water should be done carefully to prevent puddles from forming.

Otherwise the snail may drown., when it starts to dig in the ground.

If the pet crawls on the walls often, then this may indicate excessive waterlogging. But when she hides in the sink and even begins to hibernate, it can be argued about excessive dryness of the soil.

The optimal temperature for the life of Achatina are 28 degrees, but at a lower snail will feel great. But we should not allow it to drop to 10 degrees – this will lead to the mollusk falling into hibernation.

Therefore it is worth buying small tape heaters and periodically turn them on.

A bowl of water should be shallow and be very stable.

Once a month is required to clean the terrarium. To do this, remove food residues and wipe the walls with a sponge without a cleaning agent. But the general cleaning should be done every 10 months.

At this time, you need to change the soil and wash the aquarium thoroughly. The snail itself must be carefully washed under a tap once a month.

The shell can be rubbed with a soft brush.

The main food of Achatina reticulata is black-headed plant food. It can be:

You can also give her boiled eggs, cereals and the remnants of boiled meat. The pet itself will select those foods that he will eat with pleasure.

This is an individual feature of the species.

The brighter the products that the snail consumes, the richer the shade of its shell becomes. All products should be cut with very small pieces so that small individuals do not choke.

If Achatina refuses to eat any product, then it must be removed and replaced with another.

In order for the snail’s organism to develop and function normally, and the shell grows correctly, calcium must be added to its diet. To do this, you can put a special mineral stone for animals in the terrarium or add ground egg shells to the food.

The mollusk is able to independently control the amount of food it needs for saturation. Therefore, the process itself should not be controlled.

Due to the very rapid growth the snail needs protein feedings.

It is not allowed to give your pet spicy, salted or fried foods. Only fresh vegetables and fruits can saturate his body with useful substances.

Achatina – very clean mollusk. She is able to take care of her own hygiene by herself, but the remnants of food from the aquarium should be removed to prevent the process of decay.

The water in the bowl needs to be changed every two days, and the snail itself should be bathed every three days under running clean water. The snail itself will stick out of the shell and put its head under the jet.

But you need to ensure that the pressure was not very strong, and the water – not very hot.

If you regularly carry out this procedure, the clam will feel great and will respond to its owner with indescribable tenderness.

Achatina are hermaphroditic, therefore, to obtain offspring will need to plant in one house two individuals of the same species. No interbreeding occurs. Science knows cases of self-fertilization, but they are very rare.

Most often, the female becomes one that is larger in size. At the same snails, mutual fertilization can occur.

In the natural habitat of Achatina live 7-10 years, in the home content they live much less – 2-2.5 years.

If the snail is not 10 months old, such individuals can perform only male functions. This must be taken into account when breeding Akhatin.

Two weeks after fertilization, the female begins to dig a hole in the ground, where at least 40 eggs with transparent shells will be laid. After another three weeks, small snails will appear.

Individuals of large size can lay eggs up to 5 times a year, but after fertilization they are able to do this up to 10 times.

After the eggs have been laid, they should be transferred to a different aquarium together with the ground. It is required to maintain:

  • temperature +29 degrees;
  • humidity 50%.

It is strictly forbidden to touch the eggs – the warmth of human hands is detrimental for laying. Carry clutch optional.

This is done so that the adult individual does not trample the eggs and eat them.

Small snails are very mobile and curious. They will try to get out of the house, they will begin to try all the products that they will be given, and will also be happy to contact the owner.

But with other individuals, they quickly find contact. Snails love to sleep together, gathered in a small ball.

Achatina snail can be a reliable and loyal friend for all family members. She is very gentle and affectionate, and her pickyness makes her a welcome pet for many people.

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