Snails are fascinating creatures, and you might be surprised to learn about the variety of types of snails that exist in our world.
These adaptable animals can be found in diverse environments, from land to sea and even freshwater habitats.
As you venture into this captivating world of snails, you’ll discover that each type has its unique characteristics, diet, and preferred living conditions.
So, keep reading to discover more about the different types of snails.
17 Different Types of Snails
1. Mystery Snail
Native to South America, mystery snails add a unique touch to freshwater aquariums.
Their shells and bodies can have different colors, making them quite eye candy.
Mystery snails come in a variety of beautiful colors due to gene mutations.
Plus, they’re peaceful and low-maintenance, so you won’t have a hard time taking care of them.
A cool fact about mystery snails is that they have both gills and lungs.
This allows them to thrive in various aquatic environments.
2. Giant African Land Snail
These big snails are well-known for their size and their status as invasive pests around the world.
Giant African land snails have versatile appetites and can munch on more than 500 types of plants like cucumbers, algae, and fungi.
But be warned, their invasive nature can cause significant damage to crops and the environment!
3. Brown-lipped Snail
You might have come across the lovely brown-lipped snail in your garden or during a walk in the woods.
These charming little creatures are air-breathing land snails thriving in various habitats like grasslands, woodlands, and even your own backyard!
Don’t worry about your plants, though, as brown-lipped snails are mostly harmless and actually contribute to the ecosystem.
They have a distinctive feature: a dark, out-turned lip on the shell’s aperture.
4. White-lipped Snail
This friendly little snail is quite eye-catching with its distinctive white band around the shell opening.
The white-lipped snail may remind you of its close relative, the brown-lipped snail, but is generally smaller.
You’ll find these snails in a variety of damp habitats, from hedgerows to clifftops.
They love gardens, woodlands, and grasslands too!
5. Roman Snail
The Roman snail is also known as the Burgundy snail or escargot.
This gastropod mollusk isn’t your ordinary backyard crawler. In fact, it’s one of the most widely known snails in the world.
You might be surprised to learn that Roman snails are highly prized in French cuisine.
Yes, that’s right–those fancy “escargots” you’ve heard about are actually these slimy little guys.
Originally native to Europe, you can now find Roman snails in practically every corner of the globe.
6. Garden Snail
Did you know that the most common type of snail in the United States is the garden snail, or specifically, Cornu aspersum?
They have a dark to chestnut brown shell about 1-1⅝ inches in diameter and a slimy, grayish-brown body that can completely retract into its shell!
While they might look cute, some garden snails are considered a nuisance since they can eat plants and vegetables.
7. Milk Snail
Belonging to the Helicidae family, milk snails are quite a sight to behold as they’re large and edible!
These cool land snails are air-breathing, so no need to worry about finding them in the water.
Plus, they’re known for their plant-based diet, making them the vegans of the snail world.
Milk snails sure have an interesting history too. They’ve even been found at ancient Roman sites in Morocco.
8. Mediterranean Green Snail
Originally found in Europe and North Africa, Mediterranean green snails love areas with lush vegetation.
These little guys, also known as Cantareus apertus, are air-breathing land snails.
You might notice their unique greenish shells, which make them stand out from the usual brown snails in your garden.
Be cautious though, in some places like Australia, they’re considered introduced pests, damaging gardens, and bush areas.
9. Common Whelk
Did you know the common whelk is among the largest sea snails? Their size ranges from 5 to 10 cm, making their shells quite a sight on the beach!
You can find these marine creatures hanging out on sandy seabeds below the low tide mark.
Being carnivorous, their diet consists of tasty crustaceans, mollusks, and worms—sometimes even other whelks!
10. Apple Snail
Originally from South America, you’ll find apple snails in freshwater environments, sporting large shells and quite an appetite for aquatic plants. They’re known for being invasive in certain regions.
Now, about their appearance: their shells have beautiful golden yellow to dark brown hues, with dark bands adding some extra flair.
Apple snails grow to be between 2 and 4 inches tall, making them some of the largest freshwater snails. Their size can even reach up to 6 inches!
11. Golden Apple Snail
Originating from South America, these large snails have unfortunately become invasive species in certain parts of the world.
Despite their negative impact, these snails are loved by aquarium enthusiasts.
They’re known for their interesting personalities and their beautiful shiny shells.
If you decide to keep them in your home aquarium, be prepared for an exciting, low-maintenance pet.
12. Colombian Ramshorn Apple Snail
Known scientifically as Marisa cornuarietis, these snails belong to the Ampullariidae family.
Not only are they popular in aquariums, but they’re also used as biological control agents in the wild.
Their origin traces back to South and Central America, adding a touch of tropical flair to your aquatic setup.
So, if you’re looking for something unique, consider the Colombian ramshorn apple snail as a friendly addition to your aquarium.
Just remember to keep their habitat clean and healthy for them to thrive!
13. Nerite Snail
Nerite snails are one of the must-haves for your freshwater aquarium.
These snails come in various amazing types like horned, tiger, zebra, olive, and more.
Now, don’t worry about Nerite snail care, because it’s quite simple. Plus, they are peaceful and can live harmoniously with other species too!
Remember, Nerite snails have a lifespan of 1-2 years. So, cherish their cuteness while they’re with you!
Add some driftwood, rocks, and plants to your tank for that lovely ambiance, and your Nerite pals will surely love it too!
14. Assassin Snail
With their attractive gold and dark brown-striped cone-shaped shells, assassin snails make quite the addition to any aquarium.
These little snails are super low-maintenance and famous for their carnivorous habits.
They’re particularly helpful in wiping out pest snails that might overrun your tank.
Just add a few assassins, and they’ll take care of the rest!
15. Pond Snail
As a type of freshwater snail, pond snails are known to be both beneficial and detrimental in various ecosystems.
Pond snails, scientifically called Lymnaea stagnalis, showcase their beauty through shells that range from light to dark brown with occasional tiny spots.
Don’t be fooled, though – these snails are more than just pretty shells.
They’re hard workers that play an essential role in cleaning up leftover food in aquariums and munching on dead plant matter, algae, and detritus.
16. Malaysian Trumpet Snail
You’ll find these freshwater snails to be a fantastic addition to your aquarium. Why? They’re amazing clean-up crew members!
While mostly active at night, Malaysian trumpet snails will tirelessly scour your tank for algae, waste, and debris.
So, you can just sit back and enjoy your clean and happy aquarium.
17. Candy Cane Snail
This unique little creature is native to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.
Diving into its appearance, you can’t miss its distinctive conical shell, which measures 1.2 to 2.4 inches and adds to its festive candy cane nickname.
What’s more, these snails have a charming tree-living nature, giving them a remarkable life among the greenery.
FAQs About Types of Snails
What Is the Most Common Species of Snail?
There are over 43,000 species of snails in the world, but the most common species you’re likely to encounter is the garden snail (Helix aspersa).
Found across the globe, these cute critters are easily recognizable by their brownish-grey shells with darker spiral markings.
They’re often seen munching on garden plants but don’t worry, they’re harmless!
What Is the Best Snail for a Pet?
Considering a slimy friend for your home? The giant African land snail is a popular pet choice among snail enthusiasts.
These gentle giants can grow up to 7.87 inches in length, and they’re pretty low maintenance.
Just provide them with a comfortable terrarium, some fresh veggies, and a little love, and they’ll be happy as they can be.
Keep in mind, however, that they’re illegal in some places due to their invasive nature.
What Type of Snail Is Rare?
If you’re searching for a unique and uncommon snail, look no further than the rare and elusive Cuban snail (Polymita picta).
Known for their vibrantly colored shells, these beauties are native to the forests of Cuba.
Due to habitat loss and over-collecting of their stunning shells, they’ve sadly become endangered.
So, while you won’t likely find one in your garden, you can admire their dazzling appearance through pictures and support conservation efforts to protect them.