2001 Study on Diet of P. bridgesii

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2001 Study on Diet of P. bridgesii

Postby Josh Young on Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:17 pm

Aditya G, Raut SK: Food of the snail Pomacea bridgesi, introduced in India.

Current Science 2001, 80:919-921.


I bet this has been posted about here before, because I found it in the biliography of this page:
The identity, distribution, and impacts of non-native apple snails in the continental United States
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/7/97
But I found it interesting and did not see any recent mention of it.

The study tests the food preferences of Pomacea bridgesii, which is apparently synonymous with Pomacea diffusa. This snail is the only snail exempted from interstate trade in the States to the best of my knowledge. I found this study interesting because it defied my expectations concerning the diet of these beautiful and amazing creatures.

I found the study at the following address:
http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/apr252001/919.pdf

These snails
(P. bridgesi) have been introduced in
India8 in recent years in connection with
aquarium trade and there exists every
possibility of their escape from the
aquaria to the open-air water bodies.
Hence an attempt was made to gain
knowledge on their foods in India, experimentally,
under laboratory conditions
with a view to apprehend possible
impact of P. bridgesi on the natural
community concerned.


The study used 30 specimens, 10 young,10 sexually mature and 10 aged specimens and fed them all initially upon lettuce and then fed them different things in different combinations.
P. bridgesi, irrespective of their
groups, exhibited similar type of food
selection and feeding (Table 1). In all
cases, animal food was preferred to
plant food.


In all cases, animal food was preferred to plant food

I did not expect this at all.

They could catch few animals, eating live animals only in cases where the animals were slow small worms.
They clearly liked dead things, as in they ate dead fish before they would eat molluscs or worms or plants.
They ate chicken, preferring it to goat, though they ate that too...
of the (chopped up pieces) of chicken and goat, only bones were left.

In all
cases, animal food was preferred to
plant food.

The semidecomposed
prawn (decapods) and molluscan
flesh, irrespective of species,
was preferred to oligochaete worms...

The flesh of prawns and molluscs was
equally acceptable...

The fishes, irrespective
of species, were consumed first in
presence of prawn and molluscan flesh.

Gallus gallus(chicken) was preferred to Capra
hircus (goat).


They ate any meat they could, freshly dead or partially decomposed (yuk!) and even preferred it to all plants tested.
I guess that they tended to go for the richest foods first, that makes sense from a nutrition point of view.
I wonder in terms of keeping them, how the diet affects color, behavior and lifespan.
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Re: 2001 Study on Diet of P. bridgesii

Postby Josh Young on Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:14 pm

I obtained some frozen Tilpia from a nearby market.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilapia
I put a few small bits of the flesh in the the tank containing several snails, there was also some spinach and algae present.
Rather quickly the wild colored bridgesii located the material and began to feed, as well as one of the suspected canaliculata snails, the other snails appeared to be content with algae and spinach.

I saw one of the yellow bridgesii/diffusa specimens walk over a piece of fish flesh to get to a piece of spinach.
Over time most snails began to feed on the fish flesh, but not devouring it, rather eating some and then returning to eating algae and spinach. Two of the three yellow bridgesii (golden mystery snails) were not observed eating the fish flesh at any time, choosing to graze on algae and spinach instead.

This is over the course of a few days.
Temps ranged from 72-78 with bright lighting on 24/7

While many marine and freshwater fish are loaded with mercury; Tilapia have very little in comparison.
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Re: 2001 Study on Diet of P. bridgesii

Postby Josh Young on Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:18 pm

Well, here it is months later and I have a tank with many baby snails, P diffusa, although I still wonder about the taxonomy of these things...

Anyway I have been feeding lima beans, peas, Brussels sprout and tilapia. The babies clearly prefer the fish flesh.
Adults are picky, and the P lineata/ P insularum adults are also very picky and prefer the Brussels sprouts to the beans, but do eat flesh as well.

Fish flesh is devoured so well that a tablespoons worth of material is gone overnight, while with veggies the same volume is consumed more slowly, over a couple days, likely because of texture.
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