How To Tell If A Snail Is Pregnant

How to tell if a snail is pregnant

Knowing if your snail is pregnant is very cool so, you will have to prepare your tank in order to welcome the babies, but the question is, ”how to tell if they are pregnant.

There are two types of snails, the livebearers and those that lay eggs. In this article, you will learn how to tell if both life-bearing snails and egg-laying snails are pregnant.

How do I know if a snail is pregnant? You may know if a snail is pregnant by looking at her genital tube. If the genital tube is full of eggs, you can expect her to lay a brood soon. You may also know if it is pregnant if it keeps moving out of the water to dry places.

There are many species of Aquarium Snails, and each has its characteristics when it comes to reproduction.

As I mentioned, some are livebearers, like the Japanese trapdoor snails (Viviparus malleates) while some do lay eggs like many freshwater species like the Mystery Snails, etc.

Related: Tips to know if Mystery snail eggs are fertile

Many water snails are hermaphrodites, meaning they can reproduce on their own without the presence of both genders, like the Ramshorn snails. Some are not, and will need the presence of both genders to reproduce, like Apple snails.

These are some of the characteristics of Aquarium snails when it comes to reproduction, and they are very different from each other.

How To Find Out If An Egg Laying Snail Is Pregnant

To find out if an egg-laying snail is pregnant, there are a few ways to find out, they include:

1 looking at the genital tube by picking the snail on its shell, turning it upside down and facing its trap door to your face, and waiting for it to come out.

Related: How do Cerith snails reproduce

Once it comes out, you will be able to detect the eggs, unless it is not pregnant as you might have thought.

2 Another way to know if they are pregnant is by seeing them mate.

For those types that are not asexual, this is one of the surest ways to know they are going to lay eggs very soon.

Once you see one snail, probably the male on top of the female for hours, and insert his sex organ in the female, then they are mating, and you should expect eggs in a few days.

3 If your snail keeps coming out of the water and looking for a dry place, then it is pregnant, and it’s ready to lay eggs.

Snails like the Mystery snail don’t lay their eggs in water because they don’t hatch while wet, they only need moisture to hatch.

So, once Mystery Snails become pregnant, they normally look for a dry place where there is enough moisture to lay their eggs.

Related: Are Nerite Snails Hermaphrodites?

So, once snails like the mystery snail start coming out of the water, then it’s a sign she is pregnant.

These are the possible ways to find out if an egg-laying snail is pregnant or not.

How To Find Out If A Livebearing Snail Is Pregnant

Livebearing snails are those types of snails that don’t lay eggs in order to reproduce, they give birth to baby snails when they are pregnant.

A Good example of a livebearing snail is the Japanese trapdoor Snail. They give birth instead of eggs, that’s why they are called livebearers.

Related: Can baby Mystery snails reproduce

Ways to find out if your livebearing snail is pregnant are:

1. Turn them upside-down and check their genitals, you will be able to see eggs or tiny Snails in there.

Although they are livebearers, but you might be able to see eggs because they, first of all, develop eggs in their body, hatch them in their body, and house the tiny snails in there for a little while before giving birth to them.

So, if you see eggs or snails inside her, then she is pregnant.

2. There are some characteristics they might start displaying, such as burying themselves in the substrates until they give birth, etc.

Related: Are Mystery Snails hermaphrodites?

When a snail starts burying itself, then there is every possibility that you might start seeing tiny snails in your tank very soon because it’s very likely that your snail just gave birth while in the substrates.

These are the common ways to identify if a snail is pregnant or not.

How Long Does It Take For Snails To Have Babies?

It usually takes 2-4 weeks for aquarium snails to deliver their babies, or for their eggs to hatch.

Every snail has their own specific time to have its babies delivered, or its eggs hatched, but no snail can go above the time length of 4 weeks, unless the eggs are not fertilized or not good, which you must depose off!.

You should understand that snails sometimes lay eggs that are not fertilized.

This is because there is no male to fertilize them, and so, the eggs will become useless and won’t hatch.

Related: How to know if Crayfish eggs are fertilized

Snails like the Mystery snails, Apple snails, etc could do this. So, these types of eggs will go above the 4-week maximum time for them to hatch because they are not good and there is no life in them, and finally, won’t hatch.

Can A Single Snail Have Babies?

Some species of snails are asexual and will fertilize their eggs because they have both sex organs in them.

These types of snails are often referred to as pests because of their ability to reproduce very rapidly on their own.

A very good example of such a snail is the Ramshorn Snail.

Many species of Snails are usually sexually active at the age of 1 year and will start reproducing. Although some could reach the stage earlier depending on the type of environment they are in and the type of food they are eating etc.


These are the easiest methods to check if your aquarium Snails are pregnant, although there might be other methods that are not listed here.

Again feed your snails with quality foods because it helps to boost their fertility rate.


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