Do you have an apple snail?


It's not difficult to recognise an apple snail if you know where to look for.
In order to find out if you have an apple snail or not, the most visible features are listed below.
There are also less apparent anatomical characteristic like the lung-gill combination and the anatomy of the radula.


Acroloxus lacustris
One of the most characteristic features of apple snails is the tube like organ (siphon) used to breathe while staying submerged.
If your snail has such organ it's definitely an apple snail. 
Acroloxus lacustris
The eggs of most apple snails are laid above the water level.
If your snail laid her eggs above the water, you can be sure it's an apple snail. If not it can still be an apple snail (some apple snails do lay their eggs in the water).
Pomacea canaliculata The shell opening (aperture) of the apple snails increases quickly with every whorl. This gives them a globose (round) shell shape.
Acroloxus lacustris
The long labial tentacles on each side of the mouth are present in all apple snail species.
Acroloxus lacustris
The shell door, common in the Prosobranchia sub-class, enables the snail to close its shell when the body is retracted.


Apple snails can be confused with snails from the Viviparidae family. The snails from this family look very similar in shape and colour, but they do lack a lung, a siphon (obvious) and labial tentacles (the small tentacles near the mouth). In contrast with the egg-laying Ampullariidae snails, the Viviparidae snails are live bearing (hence the name Viviparidae, which can be translated as live bearing).
If you want some basic information about other freshwater snails, read the 'other-snails-section'.
Once you have recognised the snail as an apple snail, you probably want to know which kind of species it belongs to. For this purpose there is a 'quick and dirty' identification guide on this site.
Note that this only applies for pet-shop derived apple snails, for other sources of snails, things can get *much* more complicated as there are many apple snail species, some of which are very difficult to determine on external features only. Some species can only be discriminated on internal anatomy (in particular the sex organs).




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