Maximum size : 10 cm

Black Devil Snail - Faunus ater : Complete Snail Profile & Care Guide

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The Fascinating Black Devil Snails (Faunus ater) is a hidden Gem for aquarium enthusiasts. Unfortunately, these Snails have not gained widespread recognition in the aquarium trade. Often overlooked, these snails possess intriguing qualities that make them a true underappreciated treasure in the hobby. With a shell design reminiscent of the elegant Rabbit snails, it's easy to mistake them at first glance. However, don't be fooled! These two species are entirely distinct and incapable of interbreeding. One of their most remarkable attributes is their talent as diligent scavengers, playing the crucial role of a clean-up crew within your tank. Rest assured, these snails strike a natural balance and won't overrun your aquarium.

Black Devil Snails are hardy creatures, able to adapt to a wide range of salinity, from freshwater to saltwater. Although they only breed in brackish water, their adaptability is truly impressive. Watch as they skillfully navigate your tank, spending most of their time burrowing through the substrate, adding a sense of intrigue to your underwater landscape.

Peaceful and compatible with non-aggressive freshwater fish and Dwarf Shrimp, Black Devil Snails promote a harmonious environment. Keep in mind their slow-moving and calm nature when choosing tank mates. It's best to avoid boisterous species like Cichlids, Crayfish, Crabs, Goldfish, and loaches, as they may harm or consume these gentle snails. Moreover, Black Devil Snails can happily coexist with various snail species, broadening your options for tank companions.

The striking beauty of their shells is another noteworthy feature. Juveniles exhibit a shiny black colour resembling ceramic, gradually developing into a captivating black and brown mahogany shade as they grow. With around 6 to 20 straight-sided to slightly inflated whorls, their shells exude elegance. Although adult shells may show some erosion, their inherent charm remains intact. The white, ovate aperture adds a final touch of grace. Black Devil Snails also captivate with their grey-black foot adorned with delicate dotted patterns, beautifully contrasting with their lighter-toned bodies. 

Embrace the wonders of the Black Devil Snail and unlock the hidden beauty it brings to your aquarium. These intriguing creatures are ready to add a touch of elegance and fascination to your aquatic sanctuary. 

Black Devil Snail Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Discerning the gender of Black Devil Snails presents a formidable challenge, as their external features provide no reliable indicators. Unlike certain species where sexual dimorphism manifests in observable traits, the male and female Black Devil Snails exhibit a visual uniformity that defies easy differentiation. This absence of observable external characteristics makes gender identification a complex and intricate endeavour.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameFaunus ater
Year Described1810
Other NamesBlack Faunus, Lava Snail, Black Devil Spike Snail, Black Spike Snail
OriginsIndia , Myanmar , Thailand , Australia , Malaysia , Philippines
Max Size10 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asNA
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 6 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater/Brackish
pH 7.0 - 8.5
GH 3 - 18
KH 3 - 12
TDS 100 - 300
Ideal Temperature
71 - 86
22 - 30

Natural Habitat

Embark on a journey to explore the captivating distribution of Black Devil Snails, where their presence illuminates the tropical Indo-west Pacific region. From the exotic shores of Sri Lanka and India to the enchanting landscapes of Myanmar and Thailand, these remarkable creatures have left their mark in a multitude of countries. The sprawling list includes Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, northern Australia, and even reaches the vibrant reaches of China.

Natively inclined towards tropical habitats, Black Devil Snails prefer the inviting waters of brackish or freshwater ecosystems. Discover their hidden haunts in the intricate tapestry of mangroves, intertidal areas, lagoons, ditches, streams, river mouths, and estuaries, where the delicate balance between freshwater and brackish influences weaves a dynamic aquatic symphony.


The Black Devil Snails' reproductive biology remains shrouded in mystery, yielding only limited insights to date. However, we do know that these intriguing creatures are oviparous, meaning they reproduce by laying eggs. Moreover, their expansive geographical distribution hints at the possibility of an extended free-swimming larval phase during their life cycle.

Notably, Black Devil Snails do not engage in breeding activities within freshwater environments. Instead, their reproductive success hinges on the nurturing confines of a marine habitat. It is in these saline waters that the larvae find the optimal conditions for development and maturation.

While our knowledge of the specific details surrounding their reproductive processes is still evolving, the uniqueness of Black Devil Snails' reproductive biology continues to captivate researchers and enthusiasts alike.

Diet & feeding

Black Devil Snails showcase their remarkable adaptability as omnivores and exceptional scavengers. However, observations in their natural habitats have revealed their affinity for mud-laden areas and sites impacted by human activities, where they are frequently encountered.

An additional noteworthy trait of Black Devil Snails is their prowess as algae-eaters. However, it is important to note that their effectiveness in cleaning glass surfaces may be limited due to their substantial weight. Therefore, within the aquarium setting, these snails primarily focus their feeding efforts on the substrate, extracting nourishment from various sources.

Their diet encompasses a wide range of sustenance, including remnants of shrimp or fish food, such as pills, flakes, pellets, algae/Spirulina wafers, and frozen foods. In addition, their versatility in accepting different food types ensures a diverse and balanced diet.

It is worth mentioning that shell deterioration is a common occurrence among Black Devil Snails. Therefore, to promote the strength and vitality of their shells, adding calcium supplements proves beneficial, supporting their overall health and well-being.

Other Snails of interest