Chocolate-Band Snails are interesting and rare companions for the avid terrarium hobbyist.
Despite their small size and low-maintenance demeanor, Eobania vermiculata requires a few basic care requirements in order to do their best and live a healthy, long life.
This guide will provide an overview of essential Chocolate-band Snail information, teaching you how to give your pet the best possible environment, nutrition, and health care.
|Common Name||Chocolate-band Snail|
|Scientific Name||Aporrhais pespelecani|
|Use||Cleaning, Aerating Soil, Pets|
|Adult Size||1 in|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||10 Gallons|
What Are Chocolate-band Snails?
Chocolate-band Snails are small members of the Helicidae family, scientifically classified as Eobania vermiculata.
Their unique common name, Chocolate-band Snail, likely derives from the distinct dark brown band that travels across the middle of their shell, connecting the two sides.
Tiny, peaceful, and full of personality, these terrarium snails make an excellent addition to small tanks, cleaning algae and other debris from their inhabitants’ surroundings.
What Do Chocolate-band Snails Look Like?
Chocolate-band Snails are beautiful and unique mollusks growing on average to be around an inch in size when they reach adulthood.
They have conical shells with stripes of dark brown, black, and white encircling their entire body.
In addition, they have a glossy, speckled brown coloration and are often referred to as “teddy bear” snails due to their plush-like appearance.
Eobania vermiculata has long, ribbon-like tentacles that protrude from their head and are used for sensory purposes as well as for foraging for food.
They have an operculum, or “trap door,” that is located at the back of their shells and is used to both trap food and protect them from predators.
Benefits Of Using Chocolate-band Snails
Vivariums are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to create a self-sustaining ecosystem.
Chocolate-band Snails are a great addition to any vivarium due to their low profile and hardy nature.
These little creatures help to keep the water parameters balanced, break down uneaten food, and create aeration with their burrowing.
They are also low-maintenance, require little food or lighting, and make a great addition to any clean-up crew.
With their beautiful Shell pattern, they can add interesting visuals to any habitat while helping to keep it running clean and healthy.
Chocolate-band Snail Facts
Chocolate-band Snails are small land snails with dark brown and black striped shells, native to the tropical Indo-Pacific region.
They feed mainly on algae and detritus in the wild and possess a peaceful, relaxed temperament.
In captivity, these snails can live up to 5 years and reproduce asexually, producing up to 300 eggs per breeding season.
Eobania vermiculata is native to places around the Mediterranean Sea, like Spain, Israel, Egypt, and Crimea.
Although they are not territorial, they tend to prefer being around shallow, rocky areas of the ocean and sheltered coral reefs closer to shore.
These snails inhabit areas with plenty of algae, decaying plants, and dead insects in order to feed on the organic matter.
In their natural habitat, Chocolate-Band Snails are also known for their ability to move quickly along substrate as well as climb rocks, plants, and other surfaces.
In their natural habitat, Chocolate-band Snails have a mostly herbivorous diet, primarily consuming algae and other plant material.
They may also scavenge for dead animals and living invertebrates such as worms, insects, and microfauna.
Chocolate-band Snails are typically gentle and shy creatures, but they can become quite comfortable with human interaction over time.
As nocturnal animals, they’re more active at night, so it’s best to observe them at this time for signs of excitement or activity.
Eobania vermiculata isn’t overly social and enjoys their own company, but in some cases, they may interact with other snails or tank-mates.
However, it’s important to keep their tank free of aggressive tank-mates, as they’re not the best at handling confrontation.
In any case, it’s important to observe them closely when introducing them to new tank mates to make sure they’re not getting stressed or overwhelmed.
Chocolate-band Snails typically reach maturity in 9 to 12 months, and their lifespan averages between 3 and 5 years.
The life cycle of CEobania vermiculata can be divided into four main stages: egg, larva, juvenile, and adult.
During the egg stage, Chocolate-band Snail eggs are laid and usually hatch in 1 to 2 weeks.
The larva stage is marked by a free-roaming period, when the Chocolate-band Snail larvae may drift freely in the area it was hatched in search of food.
During their juvenile stage, the snail grows in size and begins to inhabit the substrate.
Finally, during the adult stage, the snail reaches maturity and begins a process of reproduction.
Chocolate-band Snails reproduce by either sexual or asexual means.
In sexually reproducing specimens, fertilization occurs when a male and female come together and the sperm of the male is transferred to the female who then stores the sperm and uses it to lay eggs later.
Asexual reproduction occurs via budding, where a small cloned version of the parent snail grows out of the side of the parent snail’s body.
Both modes of reproduction in Eobania vermiculata mean they can easily become overpopulated in an environment without proper checking and regulation.
When it comes to mating behavior, Chocolate-Band Snails are capable of mating anytime during their lifespan, although most mating does tend to occur in the spring when temperatures start to warm up.
During mating, the female snail will secrete a mucous-like substance that draws in the male.
After mating, the female will usually lay anywhere from 10 to 30 egg capsules, each containing between 8 and 10 tiny eggs.
After about one month, the eggs will hatch, releasing the baby Eobania vermiculata into the water.
Where To Find Chocolate-band Snails
For hobbyists interested in finding their own Chocolate-band Snails, they are mainly found around freshwater bodies of water.
Fortunately, terrarium hobbyists can easily obtain Eobania vermiculata through online retailers.
Once purchased, it is important to make sure that the Chocolate-band Snail was collected from a sustainable source, meaning it was not collected from the wild.
If so, it might be carrying parasites that could spread to other creatures in the tank.
When shopping for Eobania vermiculata, look for something that is active and alert.
Look for signs of disease, such as deformities, discoloration, and loss of appetite.
Make sure that the snail is well adapted to the environment, as it should be comfortable and not stressed.
Chocolate-band Snail Care
To properly care for Chocolate-Band Snails, create a suitable habitat with adequate temperature and water parameters, offer plenty of nutritious food, handle the snails with care, and replace and clean out their environment regularly.
Moreover, knowledge of common health issues, like shell rot and disease, and how to diagnose and treat them is essential for keeping Eobania vermiculata healthy and happy.
The ideal tank for a Chocolate-band Snail would depend on species, but generally, a 10-gallon vivarium with a sandy/soil-based substrate and plenty of decors for hiding would be suitable.
The ideal temperatures should remain between 72-74F, with a water pH of 8.2-8.4, and a hardness between 8-12dH.
If you are setting up a paludarium, try to keep the water clear and conditioned with regular water changes and a good filtration system.
Appropriate terrarium lighting should also be provided over the aquarium, as this will be a requirement for healthy growth and vitality.
What Do Chocolate-band Snails Eat?
Feeding your Chocolate Band Snail is crucial for their healthy growth and development, and understanding what foods to provide is key.
It’s important to keep their diet varied and to provide calcium when needed. Below is a list of a few things you can feed your Chocolate Band Snail:
- Algae and vegetable-based foods, like blanched vegetables, cucumber, and common aquarium algae
- Spirulina, lettuce, cucumber, and other vegetables
- Frozen Mysis, Artemia, and other appropriate frozen food
- Flake foods
- Calcium If needed, provide a supplemental source of calcium. This is especially important if the snail is kept in freshwater without added calcium sources.
It’s important to make sure your snail gets a variety of foods to ensure they get all the needed nutrients.
Make sure to feed appropriately sized food and remove uneaten food after 12 hours.
If you’re more of an avid hobbyist like myself, be sure to check out my ultimate DIY land snail food guide. I give a more in-depth explanation of the best foods and my favorite recipe.
Best Tankmates For Chocolate-band Snails
Chocolate-band Snails typically do best when kept in a tank with other calm-tempered animals and invertebrates like millipedes, springtails, and isopods.
Live macro-algae and other tougher, leafy terrarium plants will provide hiding places for the snails and a natural environment to explore and graze.
In addition to invertebrates, Eobania vermiculata can be kept with other peaceful snail species.
With the right care and attention, Chocolate-band Snails can make unique and wonderful additions to a terrarium.
Not only do they provide cleaning and scavenging services, but they also give off a playful and quirky personality that never fails to bring joy and amusement.
With just a few simple steps, you can make sure your Eobania vermiculata stays happy and thriving for many years.