Snails, Slugs, Snail and Slug Pictures

Pictures of snails and slugs.

Snails are generally members of the class Gastropoda and have shells that looked coiled when in their adult phase. Slugs belong to the same family, but wither do not have shells, or have very small ones. Snails can live in fresh water, salt water, or on land.  Like many animals, snails need to mate to reproduce. Once a snail finds a mate and they copulate, the male snail’s sperm is kept in a pouch within the female until she is ready to fertilize her eggs. Once she finds a safe environment (typically a little hole in the ground), she lays fertilized eggs and leaves them. Once the eggs hatch, the juvenile snails eat the remains of their own shells and their dead siblings for their first nourishment. After about 10 days they leave the safety of their hatchery to find food.

Like snails, slugs also lay eggs, which are left until they hatch.  Leopard slugs are famous for how they mate. Male and female slugs make a slimy bungee cord to hang from while they intertwine their bodies to mate.

The largest land snail is the Giant African Snail, which grows to be 15 inches long and about 2 lbs. The largest slugs, Banana slugs, can reach lengths up to 12 inches!

What snails and slugs eat depends on where they live. Land snails and slugs eat leaves, fruit, mushrooms and other types of vegetation.

Sea snails pretty much eat the same thing, but underwater vegetation. A few species of snails are carnivorous.