Snails are a popular food for some animals, like turtles or hermit crabs.
Do lizards eat snails? If they do, what precautions must you take?
Do lizards just eat the whole snail, shell included? Or is there a clever method to remove the snail from its shell?
- So, do lizards eat snails? Yes, most lizards including the alligator lizard and Caiman Lizard will eat snails such as the Achatina Fulica.
- But it is advisable to feed the baby or smaller snails to lizards as they’re small and easy to digest.
- Other reptiles that’ll eat snails include geckoes (sugar gliders), skinks (ground dragons), and snakes.”
Do Lizards Eat Snails? Alligator or Caiman Lizard?
1. Hatchling Achatina fulica Snail Species
Achatina fulica (Giant African Land Snail) are great feeder snails for lizards because they’re small (around 3mm), plus they’re easy chew and to digest.
They can’t grow larger than the size of a quarter, so they don’t pose any choking hazards for lizards, which makes them ideal feeders.
To feed the lizard, the snail should be whole and alive in order to provide more nutrients.
It’s important to be careful with the size of feeder snails because it must be safe for small lizards. Adults will grow to around 8 inches (20 cm) in length and have a maximum width of around 5 inches (13 cm).
- Younger and smaller lizards will need feeders that are less than an inch in length.
- If the snails are small, you might have a hard time getting them out of their shells. If you crush them, they will die.
Achatina fulica’s shell is brown with reddish-brown stripes, it has small tentacles on the head region. It is an herbivore and it likes to eat plants but will also eat bones to get calcium.
Lizards typically do not have any problems eating snails that are small enough for them or when the food isn’t too tough because their teeth and jaw are not developed to the point where they can eat tough or hard foods.
- As for snails, fulica seem to be the best choice. They are known to produce more eggs (1000+ eggs in a week) than other types of snails – and a 98-percent hatch rate. Thus, the consequences of eating them accidentally are relatively mild.
On price, you’ll get the hatchling or adult Achatina fulica for cheap compared to other lizard foods.
- Be careful not to feed them any snails that are too large for the lizard or contain strong chemicals because they will eat anything and may get sick from it.
Plated lizard Love Snails
Snails do have an unpleasant odor and are hard to digest, but they’re also a high-quality protein food with all of the necessary amino acids and vitamins.
A lizard’s diet should be varied. A wide variety of foods, including snails: escargot (snail meat only), canned snail dishes and live snails.
Do not feed more than one type of food at a time as this will cause the nitrogen levels to rise in the tank which can lead to bacterial infections or a lack of oxygen.
Do not feed snails that are larger than the lizard’s head, especially if they contain a shell as this can cause impaction or blockages in the digestive system.
When feeding your pet with live food you should always remember to wash them and change their water every day for optimal health. This is true even if the snails are alive when they’re fed as a food source.
Lizards may eat non-toxic garden slugs, but these should not be fed to lizards in large quantities because of their high salt content and bacteria that can make your pet ill.
- Feeding the plated lizard with the tiny snails may sometimes make them fat nd hence lead to metabolic bone disease.
- So, give the lizards these snails in small quantities in the day.
- But snails are a healthy alternative to other types of live feeders such as crickets, mealworms or wax worms because snails have lower levels of fat and protein than these insects do.
Precautions when feeding snails to lizards?
Feed baby or smaller snails, do not give larger or older ones; don’t forget the shell! If it is a live snail (not cooked) you should also take care that your pet will be able to chew it.
The best time to feed a lizard is in the morning or evening because they will hide during the day. Do not leave food out all night as it can attract bugs and ants.
The main problem with feeding a lizard snail is that they could accidentally eat the shell and then have an intestinal blockage which can lead to poisoning, severe dehydration or even death.
- This type of danger does not exist when you feed them plants – but if your plant has chemicals in
The best way to feed any type of snail is with live or fresh food such as fruit and vegetables, but these should be fed in moderation to limit the amount of sugar that your pet consumes.
When feeding snails you need to take care not to overfeed them because they can produce a lot of waste for a small creature which can lead to higher levels of bacteria.
Do lizards eat snails? Yes, but only small ones and those that will be easy for them to chew and digest.
Always take caution when feeding snails to your pet.