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Maximum size : 7 cm

Pond Snail - Lymnaea stagnalis : Complete Snail Profile & Care Guide

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Pond snails (Lymnaea stagnalis) are a well-known and versatile freshwater snail species that can be beneficial and detrimental. These snails have gained notoriety due to their ability to perform a vital role in the ecosystem by consuming dead plant matter, algae and detritus and by cleaning up leftover food in aquariums. Furthermore, they are peaceful and robust and can thrive in conditions where other species would struggle. These snails are the largest pond snail found in Britain and make an excellent addition to aquariums and ponds alike. Their shells are tall and slender and typically have a shiny olive-brown hue. The shells are slightly pointed on the top and spiral to the right. The outer surface of the shell has scattered marks and lines indicating growth. The snails have a big greyish-brown head with thick, triangular-shaped tentacles. One notable feature of the Pond Snail is the absence of an operculum. In an aquarium, Pond Snails are unlikely to consume live plants; therefore, they are an excellent addition to planted tanks. In addition, with exceptional ability to eat any leftover food and algae makes them a perfect addition to any cleanup crew. Overall, Pond Snails are an incredible species that can thrive in a wide range of environments, making them an excellent choice for any aquatic enthusiast.

Pond Snail Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Pond Snails are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs, making it impossible to differentiate their gender. However, recent studies show that these snails do not have a consistent preference for gender roles and may even switch roles during mating.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameLymnaea stagnalis
Year Described1758
Other NamesGreat Pond Snail
Max Size7 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asN/A
Lifespanup to 3 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 9.0
GH4 - 8
KH2 - 8
TDS150 - 250
32 - 90
0 - 32.2

Natural Habitat

The Pond Snail has a fascinating distribution, originally hailing from Europe, but now found in Northern Asia, Northern America, New Zealand, and Tasmania, likely due to human intervention such as the intentional introduction of this species into garden ponds. In England, these Snails are widespread and abundant, but they are comparatively rare in Wales and Scotland, highlighting the impact of geographic location on their distribution. In their natural habitat, Pond Snails are found in still or slow-moving bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, marshes, and ditches, with a particular preference for stagnant water with an abundance of aquatic vegetation.


Pond snails are a hermaphroditic species that can undergo both self-fertilization and cross-fertilization, with a preference for outcrossing. It takes about two to three months for Pond snails to reach sexual maturity. During mating, one snail takes on the role of the male and the other as the female. The male snail climbs on the shell of the prospective female and passes over the surface in a counter-clockwise direction until it reaches the female gonophore. The mating process may last for several hours. Pond snails can provide and obtain sperm regularly, and collected sperm can be stored and used for up to three months. These snails produce a relatively high quantity of eggs, which are laid in cocoons below the waterline. A gelatinous mass containing 50 to 100 eggs is attached to weeds or objects in the aquarium during egg-laying. Embryos are present within the eggs; by approximately day five post-oviposition, they undergo transformation. Fully developed baby snails resembling miniature adults emerge after around ten days.

Diet & feeding

Pond snails are known for their versatility in feeding and can consume various types of food, including plant and animal matter. As a result, they are an essential component of the aquatic ecosystem, contributing to the decomposition of living and dead aquatic plants, detritus, and algae. As decomposers, these snails help to maintain water quality in the aquarium by consuming decaying matter that would otherwise create an unhealthy environment for other aquatic life.

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