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Snails kill crabs too


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I often see hermit crabs getting a bad rap for killing snails, but the violence is mutual, at least among some species. Last night I happened to switch on the room light and walk past my tank to notice a large mass of Nassarius snails fighting over something. Naturally I was intrigued and concerned. I'll spare you all the details, but I discovered the complete shed exoskeleton of the crab plus an extra couple of severed limbs appeared as the snails were struggling. The snails had no interest in the shed exo but were fighting like mad to get at the soft vulnerable crab inside his little shell. The snails won.


From my years keeping terrestrial hermits, I know the odor of a molting crab can attract his comrades, often to the detriment of the molter. Many keepers try to separate a molting crab from the rest of the group. I was surprised by the intensity of the feeding response the molt generated in the snails though. It was quite a savage display as virtually every Nassarius in the tank was fighting over this crab.


This leads me to the conclusion that Nassarius snails are a significant danger to any crab, and likely shrimp, which molts on or near the sand bed.


Evil snails. :angry:

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Bumbe Bee snails can me a bit aggressive as well. I've had 2 in my 5.5 since it started (they're actually the oldest inhabitants) and they will fight the hermits for mysis. I have to tweezer feed everyone individually to keep the violence to a min.

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Bumble bees are members of the whelk family, which are predatory snails.


I would be surprised if nass snails didn't go for a molting crab on the sandbed.

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Actualy there's a predetory snail that looks like a nassarius you can learn more on that online magazen on RC. Or or search predotory nassarius on NR or google hope this can help. Sorry i don't have a link i just cant find it.


-Mac ;)

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My nass was wrestling with two of my blue legs. I broke them up but my snails were covered in slime and one of them died the next day.

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I'm pretty sure my snails are standard Nassarius and not whelks or Ilyansa. They look like the pics of Nassarius I've seen, with a pointed shell, not as flaired as the whelk pictured above. Plus, I bought nas snails from two different fish stores and both were attacking the crab.

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