Are assassin snails invasive?
I've googled this many times, but only found an article or two that mildly suggested thei invasive potential.
So are they? I'm currently in the Philippines, got hold of a few, and managed to get around a dozen of them. Am thinking about selling it back to my LFS...but the invasive factor makes me think twice. There's already a problem with plecos(janitor fish as they call them here), kinfefish, etc., and i dont feel like adding to the problem, even indirectly. If they are, i may just keep them in a tnk for posperity.
A Carnivorous Aquatic Gastropod in the Pet Trade in North America:
the Next Threat to Freshwater Gastropods?
Depends on who you believe.
This is what i found. I had been curious myself...
It is an excerpt from the following page at fishchannel.com
Aquarium Snails-What to Keep and What to Avoid
An animal that made an incredible splash in the hobby just a couple of years ago is the so-called assassin snail. This is a beautiful, bumble-bee like snail. It is called the "assassin" because one of its favorite food items happens to be other snails. While the assassin is quite small, groups of these aquarium ninjas will actually gang up on large prey items and feast. Beware that they can and do eat other meaty items – I've seen them feast on decorative shrimp (all snails will eat dead or dying animals, including fish). They will also eat algae, though they generally leave plants alone. They do not need to eat snails.
There is no doubt that these snails can make short work of an infestation of pest snails. However, these snails do carry with them a huge caveat. They breed fairly easily, and lay small eggs inside of small cavities or attached to plants. They and their offspring can hide in the gravel. It would be very, very easy for some of these snails to escape into the wild where they may become invasive. With a heavy carnivorous diet, they could put incredible stresses on already threatened populations of native snails and other invertebrates, particularly aquatic insects which form the basis of the ‘food chain.' I spoke to Rachel O'Leary of Invertebrates by MsJinxzd (www.MsJinxzd.com) about this risk.
I can tell you first hand that YES, they can/will reproduce in an aquarium. I purchased two from my LFS to control a pond snail outbreak in a 5g. I had them in there for two or three days and then gave them away when they 'did their job'. A few weeks later I pulled out 25 baby assassins and tossed them into a 46g. Now I am pulling assassins out daily, the number is up to almost 60. I still find babies here and there.
Although I do keep a single assassin snail in my 90g, as two are needed to reproduce. The lone assassin eats enough pond snails, (I find empty shells everywhere) but I am still pulling out pond snails in there daily. Controlling my pond snails is a PITA for me.
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