There are alot of confused snail lovers and aquarists out there. You can see many of them in online forums and social asking ”if Mystery Snails are really asexual or not”, because they have had some of them lay fertilized eggs and they hatch while being alone in their tanks without any presence of male snail. This sounds weird, but it’s very common.
Do mystery snails reproduce asexually? No, mystery snails do not reproduce asexually. Mystery snail has male and female. The female need the male to reproduce.
Now you might be more confused because your mystery snail just had eggs or the eggs have hatched.
Well, don’t be, you will learn why your snail laid fertilized eggs while alone.
I know that there are species of aquarium snails out there that are asexual, ( can reproduce all by itself) but mystery snails does not reproduce like that.
the fact is, there are male and female mystery snails and they does not have male and female organ in one snail.
So, they can’t reproduce, unless the male and female come together to have an intercourse, which in turn leads to the female developing fertile eggs and laying them.
If you are confused that your mystery snail laid eggs all by itself, here is why.
Mystery snails have one unique nature, which some other snails doesn’t.
The female mystery snails have the ability to store male sperm in her body for many months.
This unique ability allows them to lay eggs on their own, even without the presence of a male mystery snail.
They do not only produce egg, but also fertilized eggs, which will hatch in 4 weeks, especially if the conditions are good.
Can Mystery Snails Lay Eggs without Mate?
You bought a mystery snail, not knowing if it’s male or female. All of a sudden, your snail start laying some eggs, and you are puzzled. The question is, ” can they lay eggs without mating?.
Yes, they can lay eggs without mating. But the eggs will not be fertile and will not hatch if the female snail does not have sperm stored in her body.
Mystery Snails are not asexual and do not reproduce on their own.
Before reproduction could take place, the female must mate with a male mystery snail, and she could be able to store the sperm in her body for months which she use to fertilize the eggs she will lay in the future, even without mating.
As a matter of fact, a female mystery snail could lay eggs on her own, but they won’t be able to hatch without being fertilized by male sperm.
So they are not asexual.
Do Male Mystery Snails Lay Eggs?
If mystery snails cannot reproduce asexually because it have male and female. Do the male ones also lay eggs?
Do male Mystery snail lay eggs? Male Mystery Snails can’t lay eggs because they don’t have the organs to. They only fertilize the female eggs.
Mystery snail is not asexual, because they have male and female.
The male is with it’s own organ for fertilizing the female eggs, and the female lay the eggs.
There is no how the male gender of mystery snails could be able to lay eggs because it does not poses the organs for eggs, only female ones have it.
Do Mystery Snails Reproduce in Freshwater?
Another question I have heard so many times from prospective aquarists is, ‘ do mystery snails reproduce in Freshwater?
Can mystery Snails Reproduce in Freshwater? Yes, mystery snails are freshwater dwellers. They do live and breed in freshwater.
Mystery Snail is one of the species of aquarium snails which are classified as freshwater snails, so they do live and reproduce in Freshwater.
They do not like brackish water, and may not survive in it if put in such water.
So they live and reproduce in freshwater.
How many Eggs do Mystery Snails Lay
Snails are know to produce multiple number of eggs at a go, that’s why some of them turn to pest in tanks. But not all of them can turn to pest in tanks. In the case of mystery snails, how many eggs do they lay?
Mystery snails could be able to lay 50 to above 100 eggs at once if it is well fed.
Apart from environment, another factor that determines how snails reproduce is ‘ how well they are being fed.
If you want to have snails become pests in your aquarium, the easiest way to do that is to feed them very well, or should I say ‘over feed them.
Although mystery Snails hardly turn to pest in tanks, but some other snails could easily become pests.
All you have to do is over feed them and have them multiply excessively.
So therefore, what determines how many eggs or how rapid mystery Snails could reproduce is how suitable their environment is and how they are being fed.
If the environment is conducive and they are fed very well, mystery snails could reproduce up to 6-8 times a year.
Can Mystery Snails and Nerite Snails Mate?
Do you wonder if your mystery snails and Nerite Snails could mate?
No, mystery Snails and Nerite Snails can’t mate because they are not the same species and mystery snails can reproduce in freshwater, while Nerite snails can’t.
From what I have learned from experience and from aquarium experts, it is almost impossible for two different species of snails to mate and reproduce, so Nerite and mystery snails can not mate nor reproduce.
Also they have different natures, mystery snail is a freshwater snail and do reproduce in freshwater, while Nerite doesn’t reproduce in freshwater etc, so they don’t mate and can never.
At least for now.
How to tell if Mystery Snails Eggs are Fertile
As you must have learned, mystery snails do lay eggs which could be infertile if there is no male sperm to fertilize them.
If you bought a mystery snail and she happens to lay some eggs, you might be wondering if those eggs are fertile or not.
Don’t worry, I gat your back.
How to tell if mystery snails eggs are fertile.
Infertile mystery snail eggs have small cells, while fertile ones have bigger cells.
Infertile mystery snail eggs have distinctive smell or odor, while fertile ones does not.
If placed on on a damp paper or cloth, the infertile eggs will stain the cloth or paper with red or pink color, while fertile eggs will not!.
Lastly, the fertilized eggs will hatch, while the non fertile ones will not.
I hope this article answered some of your questions.
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