Are you looking for a unique pet? The Giant Tiger Land Snail (Achatina achatina) is a fun, interactive, and low-maintenance terrarium snail that can provide many hours of entertainment for both adults and children.
In this guide, we’ll go over the basics of taking care of your giant gastropod, from setting up the perfect environment to recognizing common health problems.
So whether you’re a new snail owner or just looking for some tips and tricks, you’ll be able to give your pet snail the best care possible.
|Common Name||Giant Tiger Land Snail|
|Scientific Name||Achatina achatina|
|Use||Cleaning, Aerating Soil, Pets|
|Adult Size||20-33 cm|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||10 Gallons|
What Are Giant Tiger Land Snails?
Giant Tiger Land Snails, also known by their scientific name Achatina achatina, are a species of large, tropical land snails that belong to the Achatinidae family.
These snails have the unique ability to regenerate their shells and can grow to be several inches in length.
The name ‘Giant Tiger Land Snail’ is derived from their distinctive markings which resemble those of a tiger’s stripes.
These snails are popular for both their size, as well as their wide variety of rich colors.
What Do Giant Tiger Land Snails Look Like?
Achatina achatina has a very distinct appearance that makes them easily recognizable.
They have a large, thin shell with a striking yellow and black striped pattern resembling a tiger’s stripes.
The shell ranges in size from three to six inches in diameter, making them quite large and quite the spectacle to behold.
These snails have slender, slimy bodies and smooth, soft skin that can be brown, gray, or even pink in color.
Achatina achatina has a pair of tentacles that protrude from the front of their head, the length of which is used for sensing and the shorter for eating and drinking.
At the end of the tentacles are two eyes, which are also used for sensing and navigating their environment.
Benefits Of Using Giant Tiger Land Snails
Giant Tiger Land Snails make excellent additions to many vivarium types, as they are small, quiet, and low-maintenance.
Achatina achatina will also help keep your vivarium clean by eating algae, decaying plant matter, and other debris.
Furthermore, they provide entertainment for both adults and children, allowing for close observation of their foraging, feeding, and natural behaviors.
Giant Tiger Land Snails are also great for those looking for a pet that won’t cause too much disruption in their lifestyle.
A. achatina do not typically require much interaction beyond the occasional feeding and maintenance of their habitat, they will not take up much of your time.
Giant Tiger Land Snail Facts
Giant Tiger Land Snails originate from West Africa and typically have yellow and brown striped shells.
They usually reach an average size of 30 cm and live up to 10 years in the wild.
They are gentle and docile in temperament and can reproduce both sexually and asexually.
Achatina achatina is native to tropical climate regions in West Africa, ranging from Sierra Leone to Togo.
In their natural habitat, they prefer to live in warm and wet areas with lots of humidity, such as dense rainforests and moist caves.
They are also found living among low-lying vegetation, as they feed on decaying or wet leaves and vegetation.
Giant Tiger Land Snails are generally nocturnal, spending most of their time sleeping in the dark and emerging in the late afternoon or early evening to look for food.
As they have formed an important part of the food chain in the regions where they are found, they have been locally known to be a source of nutrition for centuries.
Giant Tiger Land Snails are herbivorous animals, so in the wild, they feed on fresh, leafy greens and mushrooms.
In addition to their regular diet, Achatina achatina also requires a source of calcium.
Calcium is essential for the proper development of their shell and should be provided at least one to two times a week.
Giant Tiger Land Snails are generally very docile and easygoing around both people and other animals.
They don’t mind being handled and will move slowly on your hand, although they may try to escape if they are startled.
When it comes to other animals, Achatina achatina may not interact much, but they will at least be indifferent and should not cause any trouble.
Giant Tiger Land Snails can live for several years, with some living up to 10 years when well cared for.
During their life span, these snails will go through a full life cycle.
This begins with the snails laying eggs, which hatch after about two weeks into small baby snails.
The snails continue to grow slowly, reaching full size within a year or two.
After reaching maturity, they can reproduce and the cycle starts again.
From time to time, the Achatina achatina will go into a dormant stage, where they will burrow and hide until conditions improve.
They will not eat during this time, but will not die either.
This can be a regular occurrence, but when it happens most frequently, it may be a sign that the tank conditions need to be improved or adjusted.
Giant Tiger Land Snails are hermaphrodites, meaning that each snail is both male and female.
During mating, the two snails will exchange sperm, followed by the female snail laying eggs several days to weeks later.
The eggs are usually laid in damp, dark places and can hatch anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks depending on environmental conditions.
Achatina achatina can lay multiple clutches of eggs throughout the year and the eggs can remain viable for up to 2 years.
Where To Find Giant Tiger Land Snails
Giant Tiger Land Snails can be found in their native environment in West Africa and parts of Asia.
They prefer warm, humid tropical climates, and are most often found near abandoned buildings and in rainforest areas.
If you can travel to these locations, you may be able to find a wild Achatina achatina in its natural habitat.
Alternatively, Giant Tiger Land Snails can be found for sale in pet stores and online vendors.
When searching for them online, make sure to check the seller’s website and reviews to ensure that the seller is reputable and specializes in the correct species.
Finally, be sure to examine the snails for any signs of illness or trauma before purchasing.
Giant Tiger Land Snail Care
Giant Tiger Land Snails require a specific type of environment in order to stay healthy and happy.
This includes the right size terrarium, substrate, and food and water.
Cleaning the enclosure regularly is also important for the health of the snail, as well as being aware of potential health problems.
With attention to these details, any A. achatina owner can provide the best possible care for their pet.
The right tank is essential for keeping a healthy Giant Tiger Land Snail.
The recommended size terrarium is 10 gallons or larger, depending on the number of snails, with a bit more extra space as they grow.
The ideal temperature will vary depending on the region but should stay between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The water should have a pH between 6 and 8, with a hardness of 5 to 25 dkh.
The terrarium substrate should be a loose coconut coir soil and peat moss mix, with a layer of moss on top to help retain humidity.
Lastly, low terrarium lighting is best for snails, so natural light filtered through a window is preferred over artificial light.
What Do Giant Tiger Land Snails Eat?
Feeding is an essential part of Giant Tiger Land Snail care.
To keep your pet thriving, it’s important to offer a wide variety of fresh foods including dark green leafy vegetables, fruits, various vegetables, nuts, and small amounts of protein.
Here’s a list of some of the best foods that you can give Achatina achatina:
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: Spinach, collard greens, kale, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, pears, grapes, etc.
- Other Vegetables: Carrots, broccoli, peas, etc.
- Nuts: Sunflower seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- Protein: Small amounts of lean cooked meats, such as chicken.
It’s vital to remember to only feed your Giant Tiger Land Snail a few times per week.
They are very small and only need a small amount of food each time.
In addition, be sure to mix up their diet and offer a wide variety of different foods, as this will help ensure your pet gets the necessary vitamins and minerals they need.
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 Giant Tiger Land Snails
When setting up an aquarium for your Giant Tiger Land Snail, you may want to consider introducing a few other tankmates.
Certain tankmates can provide beneficial qualities such as creating clean oxygenated water, regulating the humidity, removing food scraps, and preventing aggression from your Giant Tiger Land Snail.
Some of the best paludarium tankmates for Achatina achatina are ghost shrimp, nerite snails, apple snails, algae-eating fish, and even hermit crabs.
As a friendly reminder, remember to always research any type of tank you plan to introduce to your Giant Tiger Land Snail’s environment to ensure the other tankmates are compatible.
With just a few simple steps, you can provide your Giant Tiger Land Snail with a safe, healthy home to live in.
From setting up the terrarium to recognizing and treating common health problems, you can make sure that your Achatina achatina gets the love and care it needs.
With the right care and attention, your pet snail will thrive and provide hours of entertainment for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
On average, it takes about 6 to 12 months for an Achatina achatina snail to reach sexual maturity. However, some snails may take longer to mature, while others may mature more quickly.
It’s also worth noting that the growth rate of Achatina achatina snails can be influenced by the quality of their environment and the availability of food. Providing a suitable habitat and a balanced diet can help ensure that snails mature as quickly and healthily as possible.
The number of eggs laid by an Achatina achatina snail in a year can vary depending on several factors, such as age, size, and environmental conditions. On average, a mature Chatina Chatina snail can lay up to 1200 eggs per year.
However, it’s worth noting that not all eggs laid will hatch and survive to become adult snails.
On average, Achatina achatina can lay 5-6 batches a year. However, some snails may lay eggs less frequently or more often, depending on their individual characteristics and environmental conditions.
Achatina snails have a lifespan of about 5-10 years.