Achatina are snails that differ not only in impressive size, but also in smartness, in comparison with other gastropods.
Akhatins are able to recognize their master and communicate with him. They are unpretentious in content and eat almost everything. Owners of Achatina call them touching, gentle and charming creatures.
Achatina originally lived in Africa. From Africa they came to Madagascar, India, the Seychelles, Indochina, Malaysia and Taiwan. On the islands of the Pacific Ocean, African giant snails were discovered by the Japanese, who immediately noted their taste. Japanese farmers began to grow them for sale.
It was believed that these huge snails help against tuberculosis in connection with which they became popular in the USA. But over time, African snails spread in the states so much that they began to be considered a national disaster. Several individuals that came to Florida gave so many offspring in a year that they destroyed the fields, began to eat bark from trees and even plaster from houses, since they needed calcium to form a shell.Achatina giant (Achatina fulica).
But in defense of Achatina, it is worth noting that only young individuals do harm to plants, while adults eat rotting plant debris and decaying wood, so that they become cleaners.
Appearance of giant African snails.
Among land mollusks, Achatina are the largest representatives, their shell diameters are up to 25 centimeters, and their body length reaches 30 centimeters.
Achatina has a heart, one lung and a brain. Breathing is carried out not only through the lung, but also through the skin, which has a large number of folds. The body is protected from mechanical stress and drying out by a massive sink. If the snail lives in a humid environment, then the shell becomes thin and transparent, and in hot climates its walls become thicker and white.Giant Achatina is widespread in countries with a tropical climate.
Achatina has a well-developed sole, due to which it moves. Movement occurs with contraction of the sole. Mucus comes out of the two foot glands, which facilitates the movement of the cochlea on a dry surface.
The eyes are at the tips of the extended tentacles. Achatina's eyes perceive different degrees of illumination and recognize objects at a distance of about 1 centimeter. Akhatins also perceive light with their whole body, so bright lighting is undesirable for them. At the tips of the tentacles are small swellings that perform the function of smell. The snails see and feel the world around them with the help of tentacles, and their hearing is completely absent.
Terrarium for Achatina
Giant snails are kept in aquariums or plastic containers. One individual should account for 10 liters, then in the terrarium the Achatina will be spacious. In a large terrarium, Achatina reach its maximum size.
To Achatina did not get out of the terrarium, it is covered with a lid. The walls and lid must have openings for ventilation. Soil is poured at the bottom of the terrarium, which is used as a ready-made mixture for azaleas, cacti and begonias, or peat, humus and sand can be mixed. Coniferous bark is suitable as a litter. The litter should be deep so that, if necessary, the snail can completely dig into it.In Europe and Russia, where the survival of Achatina in nature is impossible, they are often kept as pets.
Soil before use is calcined in the oven for about 10 minutes. It is recommended to cover the bottom of the terrarium for small Achatina with cabbage leaves.
The terrarium should have a bowl of clean water, which Achatina will drink, and bathe in it. The depth of the bowl in the terrarium with young individuals should be small, as snails can drown.
The soil should be moist, but not too damp. If the snail does not descend from the walls of the terrarium, then the soil is too wet, and it is not comfortable. And if the snail does not come out of the sink and clogs it, then the soil is excessively dry. With optimal soil moisture, snails dig into it during the day, and at night they explore it with pleasure. In order for the humidity to be optimal, the walls of the terrarium and the soil are sprayed once a day from the spray gun. It is recommended to do this in the evening when the evidence is awake, as they will lick up droplets of liquid and quench your thirst.Currently, further expansion of the area of Achatina has been stopped thanks to strict measures to maintain quarantine.
The ideal temperature for keeping giant African snails is 25-28 degrees. The terrarium is heated using a standard incandescent lamp. Constantly warming up the house of Achatina is not necessary, since at room temperature they feel comfortable, but become a little slower.
Every 2 weeks, the terrarium is washed without the use of chemicals, only with a hard sponge and water. And the snails are bathed under warm tap water, dipping them directly under the stream, while the sink is cleaned with a soft bristle brush.
Achatina is allowed to give the following fruits: plums, melon, bananas, apricots, apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, strawberries, pineapples, cherries, papaya, mango, avocado, kiwi, grapes, cherry plum and watermelon. Of vegetables, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkin, bell peppers, beans, corn, peas, carrots, cauliflower and Beijing cabbage are useful. They are also fed greens: dill, lettuce, parsley, spinach, plantain and dandelion leaves. In addition, they are treated to bread, milk, sour cream oatmeal, boiled eggs, chopped nuts and baby food.Achatina feed on products of plant origin, preferring soft or decaying parts of plants.
The selection of products for these snails is quite large. The main thing is not to give them the same goodies, otherwise they will begin to refuse food. If Achatina will eat many bright vegetables, for example, carrots, tomatoes and bell peppers, then the color of the shell will become more saturated.
It is strictly forbidden to feed Achatina fried, pickled, spicy, salty and smoked. Salt causes death in snails. In order for Achatina to have a strong shell, the diet should contain products with calcium carbonate: chalk, cottage cheese, egg shells, mineral stones for parrots. The shell is pre-crushed, and the chalk is put in small pieces.The homeland of the giant Achatina is the coastal part of East Africa.
Adults are fed 2-3 times a week, and young Achatina are given food daily. If snails refuse to eat or eat poorly, then they are overfed. After feeding, food debris is removed from the terrarium, as Drosophila can start. Soft products give in small quantities, otherwise the soil and walls of the terrarium will quickly get dirty.
The diet of babies consists of dried small freshwater crustaceans, whose bodies contain a large amount of calcium. Adult Achatina is also recommended to pamper this treat.
With optimal humidity, giant African evidence can reproduce throughout the year. Snails have both female and male genital organs. Their puberty occurs at about 7 months. 2 weeks after contact, both individuals are buried in the ground in which they masonry. One snail brings 20-50 eggs, but sometimes there can be much more - about 400 pieces. For a year, Achatina manages to make about 6 clutches.The snail has developed a wide variety of biotopes, including coastal lowlands, river valleys, light forests and agricultural fields.
Some owners of Achatina complain that their adult snails do not breed, this is due to the fact that with age they most often become females, so they just need to be planted with young individuals.
Eggs develop from 3 weeks to 2 months. After this time, the dense shell becomes thinner, as the baby eats it from the inside, so that it forms a strong carapace. That is, small Achatina do not hatch, but simply get out. The remains of the shell newborn snails eat up a few more days, while they are in the ground. And when young individuals get to the surface, they can be fed with grated vegetables, in which crushed limestone is added.Achatina are hermaphrodites, that is, each individual has both male and female genital organs.
Under comfortable conditions, Achatina grow rapidly, and under stress and inappropriate parameters inside the terrarium, the development of snails is greatly delayed.
In captivity, these giants can live up to 10 years. These are great pets for years to come. Communication with snails pacifies. If you put a snail on your hand, then it will slowly crawl and tickle your hand with your abdomen. It is interesting to observe how the muscles of the cochlea's legs contract as it crawls across the transparent glass. In general, Achatina are excellent pets, which are very easy to care for.