Stagnant Pond Snail

Lymnaea stagnalis

Copyright, Arno Brosi

The Stagnant Pond Snail is a freshwater snail that lives in ponds, lakes, and marshes. It has a tan or pinkish shell which spirals to a point. It grows about two inches long.

These animals spend most of their time sliding along the bottom looking for food. They are scavengers that eat mostly plants, but also dead plant and animal matter.

Snails leave a slime trail everywhere they go, even underwater snails like this one. Debris (tiny bits of dead stuff floating around ) on the pond bottom, and tiny microscopic organisms get trapped in the slime. Later, when the snail returns to the slime path, it munches the things stuck in it.

The body of a Stagnant Pond Snails is inside its shell. The part that sticks out so you can see it is called the foot. It doesn't look like the foot of other animals, in fact it is totally different.

The head of the snail is on the front part of the foot. It also has two tentacles, which are the main sense organs of snails, and a pair of eyes at the base of the tentacles.

A snail uses its foot to move around. It glides on mucus slime that it lets out of its own body.

Copyright, Arno Brosi

Copyright, Arno Brosi

Copyright, Arno Brosi

Stagnant Pond Snails are hermaphrodites. This means that after they mate, both snails can lay eggs.

These snails lay their eggs on the bottom of the pond or lake. Tiny snails hatch from the eggs. Eastern Pond Snails usually live for about a year.

Predators of pond snails include fish, ducks, other water birds, leeches, some amphibians, and many aquatic insect larvae (such as dragonflies and beetles). Some mammals, such as Muskrats and Raccoons, also eat snails.

Stagnant Pond Snails have a lung inside thier shells. This means they must breathe air to survive.

These snails have two ways to get to the surface. One is by climbing up water plants or sticks. The other is "spinning."

Spinning is when a snail lets its mucus slime out of its body in an upwards direction. It then climbs the slime up to the surface. It looks like the snail has a sort of magic rope that comes out of its body and goes straight up for it to climb. Once the slime reaches the surface film (thick, sticky part of the surface of a pond), it "grabs" it and holds.

The snail can now use the slime "rope" to go up and down. Snails even use other snails' ropes until they break. They don't last long, because they are very fragile.

When the Snail reaches the surface film, it has a sort of "snorkel" that it pushes through to reach air. How long a snail can stay underwater depends on the temperature and how much oxygen is in the water.

To protect itself, a Stagnant Pond Snail can pull its foot inside its shell.

Copyright, Arno Brosi

Relationships in Nature:

FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Green Algae

Yellow Perch

Common Cattail

Common Cattail

Freshwater Leech

Yellow Pond Lily

Yellow Pond Lily

Channel Catfish

Common Duckweed

Common Duckweed

Mallard

Pickerelweed

Pickerelweed

Green Darner

Arrow Arum

Arrow Arum

Muskrat

Green Algae

Lizard's Tail

Raccoon

Lizard's Tail

Long-leaf Pondweed

Eastern Newt

Long-leaf Pondweed

Hydrilla

Golden Shiner

Hydrilla

Greater Bladderwort

Eastern Painted Turtle

Greater Bladderwort

Spotted Salamander

Common Carp

Yellow Bullhead

Eastern Mosquitofish

Northern Hog Sucker

Bald Eagle

Ring-billed Gull

American Eel

Double-crested Cormorant

Relationship to Humans:

Stagnant Pond Snails are very helpful because they eat algae and dead plant and animal matter. This helps keep ponds and lakes clean and healthy for plants and animals, including ones that people eat.

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Mollusks
CLASS
Gastropoda
ORDER
Basommatophora
FAMILY
Lymnaeidae
GENUS
Lymnaea
SPECIES
Lymnaea stagnalis

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