European Snails - Group of 2
The European snail, Helix ssp., is a herbivorous land snail that is native to Europe. It has been introduced to many places worldwide as food, by snail enthusiasts and accidentally attached to plant matter or freight. European snails are a pest of gardens, orchards and nurseries, and is considered a serious pest in California where they are banned. A small population can even be found in Milwaukee Wisconsin. In addition to being a pest in gardens, orchards and nurseries by eating plants, European snails can also impact native ecosystems for the same reason.
Care must be taken to NEVER release these into the wild.
They are a large snail, whose shell is about 1 to 2 inches high, and about 1 to 2 inches wide. They have a brown color, 3 to 5 bands or darker stripes and 4 to 5 spirals. The opening of the shell is large, with white edges. They have two pairs of tentacles in the head. The uppermost pair has the eyes, while the lower contains smell sensors.
This herbivore maintains a diet that includes many fruits, vegetables, leaves, and flowers. They are nocturnal and should be fed in the early evening.
These snails need to consume a considerable amount of calcium to preserve their shells as hard as possible, and when they are not able to get it from their food, they should be offered a cuttlebone.
A cool climate (59°-75° F) with high humidity (75% to 95%) is best for snails. The optimal temperature is 70° F. If the temperature falls below 45° F, snails will hibernate. If the temperature rises much above 80° F or conditions become too dry, snails estivate.
Snails need damp, not wet, environments. Although snails need humidity, you must drain overly wet or waterlogged soil. Nighttime air humidity over 80% will promote good snail activity and growth.
To keep these snails, you will need at least a 10 gallon tank with a glass or screen top, a substrate that holds moisture, hiding places, calcium powder, cuttlebone, and food and water dishes.