Finding snail eggs in your backyard, aquarium, or in the wild can be pretty exciting. Waiting for them to hatch can be a less interesting part if you don’t know when and what to expect.
Luckily, we have plenty of experience in the matter and we are here to help. Continue reading to find out how long it takes for snail eggs to hatch, how to know if they are fertilized, how often you can expect snails to lay eggs, and more.
How Long Does It Take for Snail Eggs To Hatch?
You found some snail eggs and you don’t know when they will hatch. The answer to this question depends on the snail species. The time it takes for snail eggs to hatch can vary between as little as ten days to more than a month.
Let’s see when you can expect baby snails based on what species of snail the eggs are.
1. Garden Snails
Garden snails can lay eggs up to six times per year. One batch usually contains around 80 eggs on average, although this number can largely vary, depending on the conditions in which a snail lays eggs.
Common garden snails’ eggs are white, spherical, and only around 3 millimeters in diameter. You are most likely to find them in damp and dark places. A snail digs a hole several centimeters deep to bury the eggs and protect them from predators.
Normally, garden snail eggs hatch within two weeks. Sometimes it can take up to a month if the environment is unfavorable. Fun fact, snails already have their shells formed when they hatch!
2. Mystery Snails
Mystery snails are one of the most popular freshwater snail species. They are strangely beautiful and not difficult to take care of, so they are often used as decorations in aquariums.
These snails lay eggs around three to five times per year. They can lay anywhere between 30 and several hundred eggs per batch. The better the living conditions of the mystery snail, the more likely it will be to lay a lot of eggs.
Mystery snail eggs are usually pinkish. They are extremely small so if you are not paying enough attention to your aquarium, you may not even see them. However, they do make clusters, so they can be more easily seen when grouped together.
Mystery snail eggs normally take around two to three weeks to hatch. If the conditions are favorable, hatchlings will emerge faster. They require moisture and humidity, so make sure to provide them with a good place to hatch.
3. Assassin Snails
Assassin snails are a fantastic snail species to keep in a fish tank. While they are pretty, they also eat other snails, as well as their eggs and babies. They are brutal, but you can use this to your advantage. You can keep assassins to prevent pest snails, which makes them a good pet.
Although most snail species are hermaphrodites, assassins are born as either male or female snails. This means that you won’t have to worry about an infestation in your aquarium as they can’t breed unless you allow them.
Moreover, assassin snails typically lay only one egg per batch. The egg is yellow and only around a millimeter long. It can take up to two months for this single egg to hatch.
When given a chance, assassin snails mate consistently, so although you can get only one baby snail per batch, you can be almost sure that you can get a new one every month or two.
4. Nerite Snails
Nerite snails are another snail species commonly kept in an aquarium. These snails lay eggs as often as every other day. There are usually around 50 to 100 eggs in each hatch. At this rate, nerite snails can quickly cause an infestation, and no owner wants that.
The good thing is, nerite snail eggs cannot hatch in a freshwater aquarium as they require salinity. If you notice white, oval bumps in your fish tank, these are most probably nerite egg capsules. You can just remove them carefully from the tank as they won’t hatch anyway.
If you do nerite snail eggs to hatch, you will need to provide them with salty water with added calcium. It will take them between two and four weeks to hatch in favorable conditions.
5. Malaysian Trumpet Snails
Malaysian trumpet snails are beautiful species. They are one of the easiest snail species to keep in aquariums as they are very low maintenance. The downside? They can reproduce a lot and rapidly.
These snails don’t lay eggs. The snail gives birth to live baby snails, and there can be hundreds of them in a single hatch. What’s worse, the males don’t need to fertilize the eggs, so even with only one Malaysian trumpet, your snail population can exponentially increase in no time.
Furthermore, the newborns become sexually mature very fast, so you will have hundreds of more breeding snails in just a matter of weeks if you don’t keep the snail population in your aquarium under control.
Many aquarium enthusiasts consider Malaysian trumpet pests. This is for a reason, so think thrice before deciding to introduce them to your fish tank.
How Do You Identify A Snail Egg?
Snail eggs are usually difficult to identify if you are not specifically looking for them. This is because they are so small that it’s hard to even notice them. Most snail eggs are only a millimeter long.
They vary in color depending on the species that lay them, but snail eggs can be white, pink, reddish, and even yellow, and they can be spherical or oval.
If you are checking your aquarium for snail eggs, look for small clumps attached to the hard surfaces of the tank. It will be easier to identify the eggs if you keep track of the mating habits of your snails.
How Do You Keep Snail Eggs Alive?
Most fish tank owners do not want to keep snail eggs alive. This is because most snail species breed at a rapid rate and easily cause an infestation.
However, if you want the snail eggs to hatch, you will need to adjust the conditions to the specific species. The environment that is most favorable to one breed would be deathly to another, so ensure that you have all the right information.
If you found snail eggs in your garden and you want to keep them safe, just make sure they are not easily accessible to predators. You can also check if the hole in which their parent snail put them is moist and warm.
How Do You Know If Snail Eggs Are Fertilized?
As eggs differ between snail species, the ways to tell if eggs are fertilized are not the same either. However, the rule of thumb is to look for changes in color. If white, pink, or creamy-colored eggs start to become darker, they are most probably fertilized.
Another way to determine if snail eggs are fertilized is to smell them. Infertile eggs will smell bad while the fertile ones won’t have any smell.
How Often Do Snails Lay Eggs?
Depending on the species, snails can lay eggs as often as every day and as rarely as every two months. The number of eggs per hatch also largely varies. Some species produce only one egg while some lay hundreds of them.
Should You Move Snail Eggs?
Moving a clutch of snail eggs is a good idea if you don’t want them to hatch in a spot you are moving them from. Keep in mind that the process will most likely damage the eggs if you are not careful enough.
If you want the eggs to hatch, the best thing to do is to leave them where they were laid. This is especially true for an aquarium. If a snail laid eggs above the waterline, don’t submerge them in water as they most likely won’t survive.
What Do Snails Look Like When They Hatch?
Baby snails look almost exactly like adult snails, only a lot smaller. They may appear a bit lighter in color and they still have a lot of growing to do, but basically, they are just miniature versions of fully-grown snails.
How Do Snails Get Pregnant?
Snail breeding is a process that lasts for hours. Most snail species are hermaphrodites, meaning that each snail has both a male and female reproductive organ. When copulating, both snails transfer sperm to each other, increasing the chance of fertilization.
Some species don’t need another snail for reproduction. This is called parthenogenesis – a process by which an egg becomes an embryo without needing sperm.
Snail eggs can take anywhere between ten days and over a month to hatch. Common garden snails usually hatch after around two weeks, while freshwater snail eggs can have an incubation period of up to a month.
It’s important to keep eggs in an optimum environment so they can survive. Move the snail eggs only if you have to as it will most probably damage them.
If you have any more questions about snail eggs, don’t hesitate to ask!