Ask a Question forum: Snail shells outside pond

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Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Jan 18, 2017 12:12 PM CST
We put about a dozen snails in our pond last fall. We're now seeing empty snail shells around the pond perimeter. Can snails leave a pond? Or more likely they've been jettisoned by a varmint?
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 18, 2017 12:16 PM CST
I have one answer that may be a possibility.

Where I live there are snails that prey on other snails. They are the Rosy Wolfsnail/Cannibal Snail/Euglandina rosea. Don't know if the Rosy Wolfsnail lives in your area but perhaps there are other predators in your neck of the woods.
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jan 18, 2017 12:18 PM CST
It's possible that the dead snail shells just floated, and washed up with the wind waves. I have a lot of species of snails in my little pond. They all breed all too well! Pretty soon I may have to donate some to the pet shops.
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Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Jan 18, 2017 2:45 PM CST
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Don't think it's rosy wolfsnail. Had no clue so many snail varieties exist.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jan 18, 2017 3:02 PM CST
There are a lot of snail species! I'm not familiar with yours.
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jan 19, 2017 11:53 AM CST
I agree Another possibility is that its wet or damp outside and they crawl? / slither out and cant find there way home. 😞
Or ! There running away from
over- population.
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 19, 2017 10:45 PM CST
When aquatic snails die their bodies decompose and gasses get trapped in the shell, causing it to float. They often get washed onto shore and in saltwater environments they get eaten by hermit crabs, which then take their shells for homes.

Some aquatic freshwater snails DO leave the water voluntarily in order to breathe (the entire Ampullariidae family has air-breathing lungs). Some freshwater snails come ashore to lay eggs although that is not as likely in January in Zone 7.

My best guess is that these snails died naturally (possibly due to fluctuations in temperature, metal concentrations in the water, or some other ailment) and floated to the top. There are likely eleventy four bazillion eggs and babies in your pond waiting for spring to start growing.
Keep going!
[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Jan 19, 2017 10:48 PM (+)]
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