Disc Cannibal Snail

Haplotrema concavum

University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

Disc Cannibal Snails are large terrestrial (land) snails, with a shell growing up to 3/4 inch wide and 1/2 inch tall. They have a shiny, smooth shell with whorls (spirals making a turban shape). Disc Cannibal Snails are greenish-white to light yellow when alive. Shells of dead snails turn pale brown, then white.

Disc Cannibal Snails live in forests in leaf litter and under rotted logs. They get their name because they prey on other snails, including live adult snails, snail eggs, and even dead shells.

Copyright, G. Thomas Watters

Copyright, The Naturalist's Cabinet

Disc Cannibal Snails find their prey by following slime trails of other snails. Once they capture prey, they drag it to a hidden area to feed. Young cannibal snails start small with snail eggs, moving to larger prey when they get older. Full-grown cannibal snails can eat other snails bigger than themselves. Sometimes they even eat other Disc Cannibal Snails.

Once a cannibal snail captures its prey, it will often play with it (up to 20 minutes) before carrying it off. It will turn its food around, drop it, and pick it up again many times.

Disc Cannibal Snails usually live about a year. Predators include birds and reptiles.

Michigan State University Snail Laboratory, Photo by JWA

Disc Cannibal Snails are known to carry the Brainworm nematode. The nematode gets inside the snail's body when it eats another snail carrying it. The nematode is a parasite of the snail, which can later be transferred to a larger animal, such as a deer.

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Terrestrial Snail Anatomy Diagram
Link to Printable Page
EnchantedLearning.com

Relationship to Humans:

PREY
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Eastern Forest Snail

Eastern Box Turtle

Virginia Creeper

Brainworm Nematode Pa

Common Crow

Bracken Fern

White-tailed Deer Pa (See Brainworm Nematode)

Tufted Titmouse

Greenbrier

Common Grackle

Poison Ivy

European Starling

Cinnamon Fern

Eastern Worm Snake

Relationship to Humans:

Disc Cannibal Snails are important because they control populations of other snails which may be pests.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Mollusk
CLASS
Gastropod
ORDER
Stylommatophora
FAMILY
Haplotrematidae
GENUS
Haplotrema
SPECIES
Haplotrema concavum

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