Life cycle of the golden apple snails (GAS)

Created on Saturday, 09 February 2013 Written by allplantprotection

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Adult
This species, unlike most snails known to common people, is not androgynous but gonochoristic. It means it has males and females! GAS P. canaliculata is sexual mature at the size of 2.5 cm/1 inch. Sexes are separate.
-Females lay clusters of bright pink eggs attached to solid surfaces (rocks, walls, logs, emergent vegetation, trash) up to usually about 50cm above the water surface. Females are mostly larger while males have a wider aperture (shell opening).
Many apple GAS deposit the eggs above the waterline in a calcareous clutch. This remarkably strategy of these aquatic snails protect their eggs against predation by fish and other water inhabitants. The apple snail genera Pomacea and Pila, is the tubular siphon at their left side, used to breathe air while they stay submerged, thus making them less vulnerable to snail eating birds. 
The reproductive rate of this snail varies with the temperature and partly by the availability of food. During fall and winter, the reproduction rate is at its lowest point, while with the raising temperatures in spring their reproduction rate increases. 
There are more ways to determine the snail's sex, not all of them are 100% sure. At a temperature of 25oC (77oF/298oK), breeding is at maximum rate.
Reproductive output can be enormous. Clutch size is up to 1000, but averages probably 200-300. Clutches are laid every few weeks.
-Eggs:The female lays its eggs above the water surface at a clutch containing about 200-600 eggs.These eggs will hatch within about 2-3 weeks, depending on temperature an humidity of the air (the air above the water surface should have high humidity)- thus, a glass cover on the tank is essential (water level should be about 5-7.5cm/2-3inch below the glass cover).
Eggs generally hatch within 10-20 days, but may take longer, probably depending on ambient temperature regime. In temperate climates the egg-laying period of this species extends from early spring to early fall while in tropical areas reproduction is continuous. The duration of the reproductive period of P. canaliculatadecreases with latitude, to a minimum of six months in the southern limit of its natural distribution.
-The young snails are about 2.5mm (0.09inch) after hatching and immediately start eating; they will also need a constant supply of calcium (both in water and by food). Keeping the young snails with the adults might become a problem after a while, due to competition over food and calcium,so it is advisable to grow them separately. The young snails get to sexual maturity at the size of about 2.5cm (1inch).
Longevity is up to 4 years. Reproductive maturity is reached in 3 months to 2 years, depending on ambient temperature regime.

Habitat

             Breathing

The Golden Apple Snail is amphibious. While there is a sufficient level of dissolved oxygen in the water, they will hardly leave the water and will breathe by their gills. If the level of dissolved oxygen gets to low, the snails will go up to the surface and breathe with their lung (mostly by using its siphon, a tube that it extracts to the water surface). While filling their lung with air, the snails extract and contract their body, so that the pressure differences cause their lung to deplete and refill.

            Feeding habits of the golden snails (GAS)

GAS Pomacea canaliculata is extremely polyphagous, feeding on vegetal (primarily macrophytophagous, feeding on floating or submersed higher plants), detrital, and animal matter. Diet may vary with age, with younger smaller individuals feeding on algae and detritus, and older, bigger (15mm and above) individuals later shifting to higher plants.
In captivity, as well as eating vegetables and fish food pellets, GAS will also eat other foods if they are available.
They will sometimes eat brine shrimps and other frozen foods, or dead fish and insects. Generally, they will also eat any of the microscopic vegetation that grow on the tank rocks or walls. Snails will climb out of the water to reach food that is above the waterline. Because of their ability to do this they have become a nuisance in Asia, where they feed on crops.
This species negatively impacts rice and taro agriculture worldwide where it has been introduced. This species lives in freshwater habitat.
A highly generalist and voracious macrophytophagous herbivore. Most plants are eaten, though it does show some preferences, for instance in Hawai‘i it will not eat water hyacinth.
Eats almost all types of plants. As this snail is fast growing, it needs calcium rich water, so it can grow with a healthy shell - the calcium is used as calcium - carbonate to create the shell, lack of calcium will cause the shell to be thinner and more susceptible to breaking and eventually, the snail will die.
Ecology for the golden apple snails (GAS)

The GAS are amphibious animals; They are widely distributed in lakes, ponds and swamps throughout its native range of the Amazon Inferior Basin and the Plata Basin. These amphibious animal remains submerged during the day, hidden in vegetation near the surface. They are more active during the night, and leave the water in search for fresh vegetation. When it is night time, the GAS becomes active and engages in behaviors relating to feeding, as well as mating and laying eggs.
The GAS are exceptionally well adapted to tropical regions characterized by periods of drought alternating with periods of high rainfall. This adaptation is reflected in their life style; they are moderately amphibious. They have an operculum which enables the snail to seal the shell entrance to prevent drying out while they are buried in the mud during dry periods.
In captivity, GAS are most active at night. During the day they usually retreat to somewhere shaded. In an aquarium that is well lit, the exterior of the shell of apple snails may grow filamentous green algae. This is one possible source of food for juvenile snails.
The activity rate of this snail varies highly with the water temperature. At 18°C they hardly move around, this in contrast with higher temperatures e.g. 25°C.
PH should be in range of 6.5-7.5, best at 7.
Water hardness (GH and KH) isn't significant.
Water contain HEAVY METALS are lethal to the snails!
Pomacea canaliculata is more resistant to lower temperatures than most other snails from the genus Pomacea .
Original Article Here

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