Image: Pond Snail Illustration

Pond Snail Illustration

Pond snails, Austropeplea sp., are molluscs. They have three stages in their life cycle: egg - larva - adult.

Creator:
Andrew Howells
Rights:
© Australian Museum

Notes

Adult pond snails have a coiled shell and a soft body. On their head they have short triangular tentacles. Their eyes are found at the bottom of the tentacles. Most pond snails are smaller than 2 cm.

Pond snails live in ponds, lakes, billabongs, and slow-running streams. They are often found on water plants and rocks.

Pond snails eat algae, which they scrape from hard surfaces such as rocks using their radula teeth. They can also scrape layers of cells from plants.

Fish, turtles and yabbies are some of the animals that like to eat pond snails.

Adult pond snails breathe by floating to the surface and filling their 'lung' with air.

Pond snails are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female parts. When pond snails breed, they swap sperm packets in order to fertilise their eggs. Fertilised eggs are laid in jelly-like clumps, which are stuck to plants and stones.

Pond snails are capable of self-fertilisation but prefer swapping sperm packets or sexual reproduction, as they have a better chance at survival.

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