The grape snail is a clam that is kept as a pet. The animal is an agricultural pest.
It belongs to the genus Helicidae (helicicides) and the species Helix pomatia, edible along with the species Helix aspersa maxima (large gray snail).
It is found in the southeast and in the center of Europe, later settled in South America. Grape snails inhabit shady forests and parks.
Helixes are also called great, apple and moon. Can’t live in water.
The abdomen reaches 10 cm in length, painted in brown or beige. Skin is rough.
Shell with a diameter of 5 cm, has 4–5 turns. The color of shells varies from brown to olive, the stripes are dark brown or light.
The tentacles on the head help to touch the world and see at a distance of 1 cm.
The mollusks are peaceful and sluggish. They sleep during the day, and awake at night.
In drought, too high and low temperatures hibernate. Sleeping for several months is necessary for animals to maintain health.
In their natural habitat in the heat of the snail hiding among the leaves of plants and under stones.
Grape helix requires hibernation. There are 2 methods:
- Follow the schedule for hibernating the snail, for example, every 3 weeks immerse your pet for a week in anabiosis, gradually lowering the temperature.
- Simulate the same conditions as on the street. If it rains, increase the humidity, reduce the water supply during a drought, and lower the temperature during a cold snap.
In hibernation, animals lose about 10% of their weight, but quickly recover it.
Grape clams live about 10 years. If they are well cared for, they can live for 20 years.
Grape snails are unpretentious in content, they feel good at home. Suitable for beginners.
Do not settle with frogs, amphibians and mice.
For the arrangement we need:
- aquarium or terrarium;
Place a snail in a terrarium or a wide-bottom aquarium. Prepare a plastic or glass container.
Often use food containers with holes made in the lids. Round containers are not suitable, as the mollusk leaves little space.
The container should have a tight lid with small openings.
Put a terrarium in a shaded area without drafts. Avoid exposure to sunlight.
Make sure that other pets cannot reach the terrarium.
Grape snail breathes air, making no more than 1 breath per minute. The animal will survive without air vents, but the lack of ventilation will lead to rotting in the soil. Pick up the mesh cover or make the holes yourself.
On each side of the container, make 8 holes along the horizontal. On one side, the holes will be in the center, and on the other, 5 cm below.
Helixes are active at a temperature of 15-25 degrees, optimally contain at 19-22 degrees. When the temperature drops to 11 degrees, the snails stop growing and become slow.
Natural lighting is suitable, but not sunlight.
Land is needed for a comfortable existence of animals and egg laying. To make the soil, mix the earth with activated carbon in the ratio of 6.5–7 parts to 1. Pierce the earth at a temperature of 90 degrees to disinfect.
And also suitable coconut substrate from the pet store.
A shallow bowl will provide the snail with the necessary moisture. It is important that it is stable and with fresh water.
Put on the ground:
Large branches and hard, sharp stones can cause shell injuries if they fall. In addition, large scenery is more difficult to clean from mucus.
Wipe the tank walls daily and remove leftovers. Moisten the ground with a spray bottle every 1-2 days.
The soil should be slightly damp, but not wet. 1–2 times a week wash the scenery under running water without using detergents.
Every 2 weeks, change the soil or rinse if it is reusable.
Snails eat vegetable food. For feeding use:
- scalded nettle leaves;
- grape leaves;
Cut vegetables and fruit into thin slices or grate. Feed once a day, adult Heliks can be fed once every 2 days. Serve in the evening so that the animals can eat at night at night.
Use a flat bowl to keep food out of the way and clean. Mandatory feeding with calcium:
- sepia (cuttlefish shell);
- special chalk.
Sprinkle vegetables with crushed eggshell or place in a separate container so that the clams always have access to minerals. Ordinary or bird chalk are not suitable, as they contain impurities.
Daphnids and gammarus in small quantities bring mollusks to the benefit.
Do not give spicy, sour, fried, boiled and salted:
Grape helixes reproduce in spring and autumn. For breeding at home offspring need 2 snails. Stimulate anabiosis in the winter.
Mollusks must hibernate for 2 months. The environment for breeding:
During the breeding season, mollusks make frequent stops and raise their heads, moving their horns in search of another adult. Mating lasts 1.5 hours. Shellfish lay eggs in the ground after 20-30 days.
Grape snails produce 30–40 eggs at a time. Caviar of grape snails is round and white.
Future parents sprinkle clutch with earth.
Set up adult individuals. Incubation time is 30 days.
Hatching individuals are buried in the ground and feed on the contents of eggs. You can return the parents upon reaching the snails of 1.5 months of age.
Feed small grape snails with home-grown vegetable food. At this stage of growth, they need a lot of calcium.
It is known that only 5% of mollusks live to puberty.
Breeding snails has become a business that is carried out by three methods.
Natural conditions for breeding snails are created. The rate of progeny is low.
For small farms.
Grape mollusks are grown in a large room with regulated humidity and temperature. Suitable for rapid reproduction on an industrial scale.
Shellfish are bred on open-air farms. The gain is less than with the intensive method.
Grapes, as well as representatives of the related species Helix aspersa maxima, are bred on farms in large quantities. For the farm prepare the place: remove the trees and cultivate the land from pests. The land area reaches 300,000 square meters. The territory is fenced, the underground part of the fence is placed 0.5 m deep.
Under the influence of natural conditions, mollusks hibernate, are nourished and moisture. In case of extreme cold, the animals are covered with a film so that they do not freeze.
When grape snails reach maximum sizes, they are prepared for transportation.
Keep the snail terrarium clean and keep the soil moist, then the pets will be healthy. Feed your molluscs correctly. Mortally dangerous breakdown of the shell.
A pet can damage a shell by falling from a height or through the owner’s carelessness. Minor splits heal on their own.
Cover large cracks with plaster.
Shellfish are sold at 50-350 rubles. a piece.
Grape helixes, if you take them in your hands, are not capable of harming the host, but the temperature of the human body is high for mollusks. The animal feels discomfort when it is on the hands.
If you need to take a pet in hand, you need to do it carefully, without taking it from the surface and not touching the shell.
- Do not wash the shellfish in tap water, as the liquid contains impurities and chlorine.
- Fill the bowl for bathing with cooled boiled water or distilled.
- If the shell is destroyed, it looks worn, then there is little calcium in the diet. With a lack of this element, the snails also scrape the teeth of each other’s shells.
- Do not keep pets in the cardboard “house”. The cardboard is not moisture resistant, the snail can gnaw through a hole in such a tank and crawl away.
- If you do not need offspring, but together contain several grape snails, remove and freeze the eggs in time.
Snails are good because they are noiseless, do not take up much space, do not cause allergies and it is interesting to watch them. Grape snail, unlike Achatina, can be found on the street and bring home.
It is important that the individual looks healthy and the shell is whole.