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RFB2
07-10-2009, 09:31 PM
So the time has come.:) Next week or so I am going to finally purchase a starter colony of snails. I had planed on doing this almost 5 months ago, but I had to keep putting it off. I plan on getting the species Rabdorus alternatus. I pretty much have to get this species, because I need permits for just about everything else in my area; if things go well I do not want any hassles from Uncle Sam.:?

My question is, have any of you raised this species before and if so how were you keeping them? I have a rough idea from reading through out the threads here and a few other sites, but everything is basic information and nothing species specific.

Thanks,
Rob

DDReptiles
07-10-2009, 10:54 PM
I have 2 species of snais breeding now. They are quite easy to breed. I house them in those white 5 gallon buckets, no ventilation, I just open the lid for 30 seconds or so everyday.

I use moist peat moss as a substrate, around 2 inches, they will burrow in this and lay the eggs (the eggs look like little silica balls).

I always have cuttlebone (for calcium) and leafy greens available for food. Snails poop a lot, so frequent cleaning of the tank is required.

Overall just keep them humid and well fed and around room temp (70-80 degrees) and they breed non stop.

Thanks Derek

Riverside Reptiles
07-10-2009, 11:31 PM
I'm not having quite as good of luck as Derek. I'm keeping mine pretty much the same way. And they've been staying alive just fine. But I've not had any eggs yet. Haven't been able to figure out why. Any ideas Derek?

sushigex
07-11-2009, 01:05 PM
Where are you guys getting your snails from? I also wanted to try my hand at cultivating snails for my geckos.

RFB2
07-11-2009, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the info guys. That is pretty much what I have read. I wasn't sure if there were any tricks.

Derek out of curiosity what species do you keep? PM me if you wish

Also, what size colonies did you guys start with? I wonder if the success is based on the numbers game. I figure if you have one horney snail and stick it in with 20 other snails some one is bound to give;-)

I wonder how old yours are Ethan. Do you think they are full grown?

Are you guys feeding w/c or are you feeding only the snails you produce?

Sorry for all the questions

DDReptiles
07-16-2009, 10:53 PM
Sorry for the slow reply, forgot about this thread LOL

I don't know why yours aren't breeding Ethan, I noticed when I was in Australia and the snails were low on the priority list while I was away, I didn't get any eggs. But when I care for them daily I get quite a few eggs.

I started with a colony of maybe 30 or so snails. I have a brick wall in the garden and every spring, when it is one of those days when its about 50-60 degrees and drizzling for a day or so it just explodes with snails.

So after I had luck with them I went back out and collected another colony of about 30 snails, I left some as I figure I may want some next year ;)

I don't ever see them except for that small time period in the year.

I just fed off some of my first baby snails to my C. elok and the 2 females ate 4 each so hopefully by next breeding season I will have enough to feed all my breeding female geckos atleast every few weeks.

Thanks Derek

Tim
07-17-2009, 06:33 AM
Does anybody know if snails are capable of harming geckos with parasites and other disease?

Hilde
07-17-2009, 09:26 AM
I don't know if it's the same with your snails, but mine only seem to breed if I cool them for a few months during the winter. The first couple of years I left them in their enclosure all winter, temperature around 65F in the basement where they were. There weren't any eggs, which surprised me since they're hermaphrodites so I obviously had the 'correct' sex ratio ;) After reading about these natives, I realized they like to have a cooling period. Now I take them out of the enclosure in late October and November, set them up in small rubbermaid containers with the basic necessities. They are stored in the coolest corner of the basement, on the floor, up against a wall where the temperature ranges around 40-45F. To make sure it stays cool enough, I put a styrofoam barrier around them. In January if there's a thaw (for us, it's a few days where the temperature just barely rises above freezing) I'll put them in the sunroom so they get a short stretch of cooler temperatures. As long as they can bury themselves, they seem to survive short freezing spells. In the wild they dig below the frost line, so I can't let them stay out too long during the thaw.
In March or early April I move them back to the main enclosure. I don't know how long they wait to breed, but by July or August I find hatchlings all over the place.
There's some good info in this thread: http://www.geckosunlimited.com/community/feeders-food-nutrition/32937-how-culture-snails-your-geckos-2.html as well as pictures of what some of us are using.
I find that they poop all over the cuttlebone, so I use it sparingly. I tend to rely on feeding them alfalfa, grass and other high calcium foods for most of their calcium.

DDReptiles
07-17-2009, 10:20 AM
Does anybody know if snails are capable of harming geckos with parasites and other disease?

Yes, wild snails are capable of carrying large parasite loads

Tim
07-17-2009, 11:52 AM
Derek, thx for the info. :)

RFB2
07-17-2009, 08:23 PM
Thanks for the answers Derek:)

Riverside Reptiles
07-31-2009, 03:44 PM
Mine finally started breeding. Not sure what changed that triggered it. Below is a pic of an adult and a baby next to a dime for size reference. Unknown species from TN:

RFB2
07-31-2009, 04:05 PM
Sweet, that is a great size reference in the pic. I have not purchased any yet. My wife and I are in the process of building a house. This project once again got put on the back burner. Just as well I guess I have no more room on my racks for any more animals, feeders of not. They are going on the Xmas list:biggrin:

Matt K
07-31-2009, 08:30 PM
Looks kinda like a Mesodon sp. or Neohelix sp., neither do particularly well in captivity as part of thier diet may be other snail eggs, such as that of one of the Helix species. If you want to rear snails in captivity, its hard to beat the ease and productivity of Helix aspersa. Plus they are edible to humans as well :)

Riverside Reptiles
07-31-2009, 09:17 PM
Looks kinda like a Mesodon sp. or Neohelix sp., neither do particularly well in captivity as part of thier diet may be other snail eggs, such as that of one of the Helix species. If you want to rear snails in captivity, its hard to beat the ease and productivity of Helix aspersa. Plus they are edible to humans as well :)


I'd love to have some Helix aspersa but haven't been able to find a source for them.

Matt K
08-01-2009, 09:43 AM
PM me. I can get you some adults to start out with.

RFB2
08-01-2009, 09:05 PM
:biggrin:I made her feel guilty. :banana: the snails arrive next Thursday. The helix are permit only in most states unless already infested I guess.

Matt K
08-01-2009, 11:01 PM
Odd, because Helix aspersa have an extremely wide range by nature and are not restricted to any part of the US that I can find....

RFB2
08-02-2009, 04:30 PM
They are wide spread. I am not sure of local laws. Where I am in NH you can not have them. I was looking around on one of the government web sites; I think it was the department of agriculture. Helixes along with many other land snails were listed as pest spices. I believe they were introduced to the states a number of years ago. I will see if I can track down the link that has the list, it is pretty informative. Hell I would like to get a hold of some also. I thought I would let you know what I have found so you could tread lightly; the exotic animal trade has enough issues with Uncle Sam.

RFB2
08-02-2009, 04:59 PM
From what I can find Helix ssp. are in need of a permit for interstate travel and trade. You can go to USDA.gov and search under snails you will get some info, permits, etc. They are not illegal to own. You should look up your local laws, with helix being a non native species they may be regulated differently in your state.

The only snail that is a huge no, no is the giant African land snail.

midget
08-10-2009, 08:06 PM
i just started breeding the same species as riverside reptiles pretty simlpe to get i collect 30 in 10min. i was wonderin why they are used as feeders. is for the shell since its just basicly calcium. tanks

Graham_s
08-10-2009, 09:35 PM
yes, they are a very good source of calcium, especially for gravid females. They're also pretty inexpensive and easy to culture.

midget
08-10-2009, 11:31 PM
oh ok thats what i thought thanks

Riverside Reptiles
08-10-2009, 11:43 PM
The meat is also high protein and low fat.

midget
08-10-2009, 11:55 PM
oh even better great feeder i guess anything negitive. also how is there calcium content compared to phonix worms or tropical wood lice. thanks

Graham_s
08-11-2009, 12:23 AM
oh even better great feeder i guess anything negitive. also how is there calcium content compared to phonix worms or tropical wood lice. thanks

not sure exactly, but I should think they have much more calcium than woodlice and phoenix worms. The exact amount of calcium would depend on the species of snail and shell development though

midget
08-11-2009, 12:26 AM
great thanks again

midget
08-25-2009, 08:33 PM
rather not start a new thread since it involes the topic i havn't had any breeding yet have had them for 2 weeks. also i don't see them going for the cuttle bone crushed and whole. i ted to them daily with misting replacing food and that. thanks

Riverside Reptiles
08-25-2009, 09:53 PM
What species are you working with?

midget
08-25-2009, 10:00 PM
same as you not sure of what it is called

Matt K
08-25-2009, 11:14 PM
If you don't know what it is called how do you know who is working with what species?

Some basic things you may want to consider: - though your posts appear to be from texting a cell phone, so maybe not answer all of these online :) -

In the USA, domestic snails are easy. Sometimes you have to be patient at first- do you know for certain if there are eggs in the soil or not? Are they definately mature specimens? Are you keeping them too warm? Are they humid/moist enough? Have you tried temp fluctuations to induce spawning? Are you sure you are feeding them something they like? How many do you have in a container, and what size is the container?

The best results come from 10 in a 10 gallon tank. You then get several hundred young and will need to set up another tank or rubbermaid tub, etc. Two such containers can keep you rolling in snails if they the "garden variety".

midget
08-25-2009, 11:22 PM
Ok thanks yes they are mature, i feed greens. Mabye there too hot i'll move them to a cooler room my room gets hot, its pretty humid. I have them in a 6qt rubbermain tub i'm gusing thats too small from what you posted. I have about 10-15 adults and 15 or babies. i know because he posted a picture of it but he dosn't what it is ethier. thanks

RFB2
08-26-2009, 08:46 AM
Good luck midget. I am trying to figure my out the husbandry of my species too. I have 50 adult Rabdotus alternatus, now I am just waiting to hear the Barry White music in the background;-) so I can get some eggs.

Matt K
08-26-2009, 02:36 PM
RFB2- That's a neat one to have.

I have Helix aspersa and a second found locally that may be Bradybaena (similaris?). One of the most common problems with Helix that I am not sure if it applies to other US natives is keeping them too warm. They like to hibernate in the winter and summer with activity in between. Interestingly, Helix aspersa is also known to be flexible on occasion to new environments, so what I said is usually but not always the case....

clint545
08-26-2009, 03:43 PM
Some good tips in this thread. I tried earlier in the season to breed some with no luck. I might have another go at them after being inspired by this!:D

midget
08-26-2009, 06:45 PM
yea i'm moving them to a ten gallon today in a cooler room too.

Riverside Reptiles
09-10-2009, 04:39 PM
Opened up one of my snail bins today and found aprox. 60 babies! :)
These are Helix aspersa. Thanks again to the generous donor of my adults!
Pictured here are the babies next to an adult and a penny for size reference.

MonteQ's
09-10-2009, 04:48 PM
Those are some huge babies! My adults barely get that big!

Glad they came around for you.

Riverside Reptiles
09-10-2009, 05:52 PM
Those are some huge babies! My adults barely get that big!

Glad they came around for you.


Yeah, the Helix aspersa are fairly large snails. It's the species that most people eat as escargot. The babies are plenty small enough for most geckos though.

snave_relyt
09-11-2009, 12:18 PM
I think I will leave the snail eating to the geckos. Amyways, do you soften them up a little before you feed them to your geckos?

DDReptiles
09-11-2009, 12:41 PM
Thats great Ethan, how are you keeping your aspersa? All of mine have slowly died off. I was keeping them just like the smaller snails I sent you. I just think they died as they never fully got over being collected, driven around the Borrego desert in extreme heat and then me shipping them USPS priority back to myself in the middle of summer.

So far none of my masobe have really shown interest in the snails I offer them (the native snail I am using). However my C. elok females will literally gorge (4-5 decent sized ones in a sitting) themselves on them and take them right off the tweezers.

Thanks Derek

RFB2
09-14-2009, 10:00 AM
LOL I have not seen my Masobes show interest in anything except defecating on the walls.

Don't feel bad Derek, my snails do not seem to be doing anything. It is pretty annoying.

DDReptiles
09-14-2009, 12:53 PM
LOL I have not seen my Masobes show interest in anything except defecating on the walls.

:biggrin::lol::crackup:

Atleast if your job ever goes south you can be an expert window cleaner ;)

Riverside Reptiles
09-14-2009, 02:54 PM
Rob, if it makes you feel any better, I have some Rabdorus alternatus too and also have had no luck getting them to breed. And I mean zero luck...not a single baby from them.

Matt K
09-14-2009, 03:40 PM
How do you have your Rabdotus alteratus set up?

Riverside Reptiles
09-14-2009, 05:08 PM
How do you have your Rabdotus alteratus set up?


The same as my Helix except on peat substrate instead of potting soil. I think I'm going to switch over to potting soil tomorrow though as I'm thinking the acidity of the peat may be (in part or whole) what the problem is. I've not had any die or anything. But zero reproduction.

Matt K
09-14-2009, 08:30 PM
That may be the possible problem. If they laid eggs in the peat the peat may have sterilized the eggs (pickled) and the eggs rotted away. I use only organic potting soil for anything that buries an egg...
My 2 cents anyway...