Last Updated on December 4, 2021 by cmoarz
Assassin snails are a type of freshwater snail that feeds on other aquatic creatures. They get their name from how they hunt for prey – by using the venom in their saliva to paralyze it. The assassin snail then uses its rasp-like tongue to scrape off the soft tissues and consume what is left.
So, as its namesake suggests, it eats other creatures and various forms of protein.
Check out our identification guide What does snail eggs look like To help identify more snail eggs
What do assassin snails eat specifically?
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Assassin snails enjoy a large and varied diet of insects and other aquatic creatures, including small shrimp and other snails. They can even eat fish flakes, However, their preferred diet definitely seems to be other snails above all else.
They even go as far as having a favorite snail species they just love to snack on, The trumpet snail.
Assassin snails are not picky eaters, They also enjoy consuming ramshorn snails and other mollusks.
They like to hide buried beneath the substrate, waiting for their prey to come close and snatch it up.
Even with all that said, they are not cannibalistic. They avoid eating their own species and young. Although there are times when that can change, such as when they are starving or the water is too warm and their metabolism is sped up without an equal increase in available proteins.
Here’s a list of everything else they tend to like to eat:
- Baby mystery snails
- Baby Japanese trapdoor snails
- Baby rabbit snails
- Baby Inca snails
- Baby ivory snails
- Baby nerite snails
- Soft snail eggs (not hard)
- Fish flakes
- blood worms
- various species of small shrimp
- Trumped snails
- Ramshorn snails
- Pond snails
- Other small worms and insects
- Dead fish (not preferred to scavenge)
And the list goes on and on.
Assassin snails are very versatile when it comes to what they like to eat. They aren’t picky creatures, but because of their size and the rate at which they consume food, care must be taken not to feed them anything that might overwhelm them or cause illness in captivity.
The reason so many baby snail species are listed specificity is because an assassin snail is much more likely to eat a smaller baby than it is for an adult of those species.
In fact, most of those larger adults are safe around assassin snails, as the assassin snail rarely goes after prey larger than itself unless it’s about to starve. Most predators wouldn’t.
So if you ever wondered if it’s safe to have assassin snails in with other snails, the answer is yes, if they are bigger than the assassin snail!