Maximum size : 2 cm

Assassin Snail - Clea Helena, Anentome helena : Complete Snail Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The Assassin Snail (Clea Helena) is a relatively hardy species that thrives in well-maintained water conditions. As long as proper water parameters are maintained, and ample food is provided, their care is not particularly demanding. Typically less active during midday, these opportunistic carnivores pose no threat to aquatic plants, making them useful additions for controlling other snail populations.

Assassin Snails have gained acclaim for their remarkable proficiency in addressing challenging snail populations within an aquarium setting. A mere handful of these snails can efficaciously manage even substantial infestations of Malaysian trumpet snails. This exceptional capability has propelled their increasing recognition and popularity, prompting a growing number of fish stores to include them in their inventory.

While exhibiting a commendable level of resilience, this snail species inherently demands favourable water quality, ideally featuring a commendable water flow alongside a gentle sand substrate that facilitates burrowing behaviour. While sand remains a preferable option, various alternative substrates available in the market can also suffice. Adult assassin snails predominantly inhabit the substrate, employing it as a site of concealment from which they execute predatory ambushes on other snails.

Assassin snails, while equipped with an operculum for protection, remain susceptible to predation by larger Cichlids and other commonly encountered snail-consuming fish species. Consistent assaults from such predators can lead to injury and heightened stress levels in assassin snails. The persistence of these attacks may ultimately result in mortality or a significantly curtailed lifespan.

Additionally, the presence of Assassin Snails within an aquarium introduces an inherent risk to the well-being of other coexisting snail species. While notably sizable snails like apple snails tend to remain relatively insulated from predation, instances of assassin snails collectively targeting and consuming larger snail counterparts are documented.

Not only functional, Assassin Snails also boast an appealing aesthetic. Their ribbed, conical yellow-cream shell is adorned with dark brown spirals and speckles, while their body exhibits a greyish-green hue, adding visual interest to any aquarium.

Assassin Snail Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Assassin Snails exhibit distinct male and female individuals, unlike other snail species that are hermaphroditic. Sexing these snails is exceedingly difficult; however, it is believed that females may be marginally larger than their male counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameClea Helena, Anentome helena
Year Described1847
Other NamesBumblebee Snail
OriginsMalaysia , Thailand , Indonesia
Max Size2 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 3 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 7.2 - 8.0
GH 10 - 25
Ideal Temperature
72 - 81
22 - 27

Natural Habitat

The attractive-looking Assassin Snails are native to the enchanting Southeast Asian region and can be found in abundance throughout Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Assassin Snails have a particular affinity for small bodies of water, favouring the cosy confines of ditches or ponds.

In their natural habitat, these snails thrive in environments with sandy or muddy substrates, and it's essential to recreate similar conditions in your home aquarium for them to flourish. Providing your Assassin Snails with the ideal environment is critical to their well-being, and with a little bit of effort, you can create a thriving underwater oasis that perfectly replicates their natural habitat. 


Assassin Snails are known to lay individual eggs, often deposited in close proximity to one another. Each egg is characterized by a yellow hue and encased within a transparent, rectangular-like structure that adheres to surfaces such as aquarium glass, lava rocks, or driftwood. After several days, the egg transitions to a light brown colour and takes approximately two months to hatch. Upon hatching, the juvenile Assassin Snails will navigate through the substrate as they mature. A notable advantage of this species is its inability to overpopulate a tank, despite its reproductive capabilities.

Diet & feeding

Assassin Snails exhibit a diverse and opportunistic diet, consuming a wide range of food sources. Their dietary preferences include other snails, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, brine shrimp, sinking pellets, flakes, granules, meaty detritus, and deceased fish. In instances where the tank hosts a sizable snail population, supplemental feeding may not be necessary, as the Assassin Snails will readily feed on the abundant snail population.

Frequently asked questions

No, as a rule, Assassin snails do not predate on other assassin snails, even when there are no other snails in the aquarium for them to consume.

Other Snails of interest