21 Different Types of Snails (With Pictures)

Different Types of Snails
Photo by Manuel Torres Garcia on Unsplash

Snails are fascinating creatures that come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

These slow-moving different types of snails have been around for millions of years, adapting to different habitats and surviving in some of the harshest environments on Earth. 

We will explore the world of snail science and the different types of snails.

Whether you’re a snail enthusiast or simply curious about these amazing creatures, our post will satisfy your thirst for knowledge.

What are Snails?

Snails are a type of mollusk that is characterized by their hard shells and slimy bodies. They are found in various habitats, from gardens and forests to oceans and lakes. 

Snails are known for their slow, steady movement and are often used as a metaphor for patience.

They are also an important part of the ecosystem, serving as food for birds and other animals and playing a role in the breakdown of organic matter.

Different Types of Snails

1. Apple Snails

Apple Snails
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Apple snails, also known as Ampullariidae, are starting our list of different types of snails. They’re a group of freshwater snails native to tropical and subtropical regions of South and Central America. 

They are called apple snails because of their large size, comparable to an apple.

These different types of snails can grow up to six inches in diameter, making them one of the largest species of snails in the world.

One unique feature of apple snails is their ability to breathe through their gills and lungs. They use a large siphon to breathe air, allowing them to stay underwater for long periods. 

Apple snails are also known for their bright colors and patterns, ranging from golden yellow to dark brown.

They are a popular aquarium pet, but they are also considered an invasive species in many areas because they reproduce rapidly and can cause damage to native ecosystems.

2. Milk Snail

Milk Snail
by loarie is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Milk Snail, also known as the Spanish snail or the European brown snail, is one of the different types of snails found in Southern Europe and Northern Africa.

This snail has a smooth, brown shell with yellow stripes. It typically grows to about 2-3 centimeters in height and 3-4 centimeters in diameter.

One interesting fact about the Milk Snail is that it has been a popular ingredient in traditional Spanish cuisine for centuries. It is often served in dishes like paella or spaghetti alle vongole.

However, it is important to note that in some areas, this snail is considered an invasive species and can cause damage to crops and natural habitats.

3. Garden Snail

Garden Snail
by Hafiz Issadeen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The garden snail, also known as Cornu aspersum, is a type of land snail commonly found in gardens, forests, and other outdoor environments.

This species is native to Western Europe but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America, where it has become an invasive species in some areas.

The garden snail is known for its hard, spiral-shaped shell, which can vary in color from light brown to dark gray.

It typically grows around 1.5 inches long and feeds on various plants and vegetables, making it a common garden pest.

Despite this, garden snails can also benefit the environment as they help break down organic matter, and their shells provide calcium to the soil.

4. Brown-lipped Snail

Brown-lipped Snail
by davidshort is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The brown-lipped snail, also known as the grove snail, is one of the common different types of snails found in Europe and parts of Asia.

Its shell can range from light brown to dark brown, and it has a characteristic brown band around the edge of its lip. 

One interesting fact about the brown-lipped snail is that it is known for its ability to adapt to different environments.

Studies have shown that snails living in areas with a higher predation risk tend to have darker shells, while those living in areas with less predation risk have lighter shells.

This adaptive trait is believed to be a result of natural selection.

5. White-lipped Snail

White-lipped Snail
by Martin Cooper Ipswich is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The White-lipped Snail, also known as the Grove Snail, is a type of land snail found in Europe and North Africa. Its name comes from the white lip or margin found on the opening of its shell.

This snail has a smooth, glossy shell that can vary in color from light brown to yellow or pink. 

Another interesting fact about the White-lipped Snail is that its shell can be used to determine its environment’s temperature and humidity levels.

The colors and patterns on the shell change based on these factors, allowing scientists to use them as a natural thermometer and hygrometer.

This snail also plays an important role in the food chain, serving as a food source for birds and other animals.

6. Roman Snail

Roman Snail
by Paul and Jill is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Roman Snail, also known as the Burgundy Snail or Edible Snail, is a common European species.

It is known for its delicious taste and is considered a delicacy in many countries. Its shell is light brown in color and has spiral ridges. 

The Roman Snail is mostly active at night and is found in wooded areas, gardens, and meadows.

Interestingly, the Roman Snail is a model organism in various scientific studies, such as genetics and neurobiology. This is because its nervous system is relatively simple, making studying easier. 

In fact, it has even been used in space research, as its sensory cells can detect changes in gravity.

The Roman Snail may be small, but it certainly packs a punch when it comes to scientific significance and culinary enjoyment.

7. Mediterranean Green Snail

The Mediterranean Green Snail is a common type of land snail found throughout Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean region.

This snail has a beautiful green and yellow shell that is slightly flattened and has prominent ridges. The shell can grow up to 3.5 cm in length and has a small opening at the base.

Despite their name, Mediterranean Green Snails can be found in various habitats, including gardens, parks, and woodlands. They feed on various plant materials, including leaves, flowers, and fruit.

While they may be considered a nuisance to gardeners, these different types of snails are an important part of the ecosystem.

They are a food source for various animals, including birds, hedgehogs, and some species of rodents.

8. Giant African Land Snail

Giant African Land Snail 
by John Tann is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Giant African Land Snail, also known as Achatina fulica, is a land snail native to East Africa.

It is considered one of the largest species of land snails, with a shell that can reach up to 8 inches in length and 4 inches in width.

These snails are popular as pets due to their unique appearance, slow movement, and ease of care. 

However, the Giant African Land Snail has also become an invasive species in many parts of the world, including the United States.

These snails can reproduce rapidly, causing significant damage to crops and native plants.

In addition, they are carriers of various diseases that can harm humans and other animals. Therefore, it is important to handle these snails with care and never release them into the wild.

9. Golden Apple Snail

Golden Apple Snail
by Roo Reynolds is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Golden Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata) is a freshwater snail species that belongs to the Ampullariidae family.

It is also known as the channeled apple snail and is native to South America.

However, it has been introduced and spread to various parts of the world, becoming a major agricultural pest in certain regions, particularly Southeast Asia.

Golden apple snails are characterized by their large size, reaching up to 5.9 inches in diameter when properly cared for.

They have a distinctive, globular shell with a conical spire and a smooth, glossy surface. The coloration of the shell can vary, including shades of gold, brown, and green.

In their natural habitat, golden apple snails inhabit freshwater environments such as rice fields, swamps, ponds, and marshes.

They are capable of aquatic and aerial respiration, using a specialized lung called a “pallial cavity” to breathe air when submerged or extract oxygen from the atmosphere.

10. Mystery Snail

Mystery Snail
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Mystery Snail, scientifically known as Pomacea Bridgesii, is one of the popular types of snails often kept in freshwater aquariums.

Aquarium enthusiasts love them for their striking appearance and beneficial cleaning habits. 

Here’s some information about Mystery Snails: Mystery Snails have a unique and colorful appearance, with a conical shell that can come in various shades such as blue, gold, purple, and ivory.

Their shells are usually marked with distinct patterns, making them visually appealing.

These snails can grow to a size of approximately 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, making them a moderate-sized snail species suitable for most aquariums.

Mystery Snails are generally peaceful creatures and can coexist with many fish, shrimp, and other peaceful aquatic inhabitants.

They are known for cleaning up waste and excess food in the aquarium, which helps maintain water quality.

Mystery Snails are known for their unique reproductive behavior. They can lay eggs above the waterline on various surfaces, such as aquarium glass or decorations. 

The eggs are enclosed in a calcareous clutch and can take a couple of weeks to hatch.

Notably, they are not hermaphrodites, meaning they require both male and female snails for successful reproduction.

11. Common Whelk

Common Whelk
by S. Rae is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Common Whelk, scientifically known as Buccinum undatum, is a large marine snail that inhabits the coastal waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Here are two paragraphs providing information about the Common Whelk:

The Common Whelk is easily recognized by its size and distinctive shell coloration.

It is a gastropod mollusk with a spiral-shaped shell that can vary in color, ranging from white and yellow to shades of red and brown. The shell is thick and sturdy, protecting the snail’s soft body. 

These snails are typically found in intertidal zones and shallow coastal waters, where they feed on various prey.

Common Whelks are carnivorous and feed on live bivalves such as clams and mussels. 

In addition to their feeding habits, Common Whelks have ecological significance in their interactions with other organisms.

They often benefit from the feeding activities of starfish, as the starfish prey on bivalves and leave behind the remains of their meals.

The Common Whelk scavenges on the abandoned bivalve shells, taking advantage of this food source. 

However, Common Whelks are preyed upon by various fish species and crustaceans, creating a dynamic balance in the marine food chain.

Due to their large size and edible nature, Common Whelks have been harvested by humans for centuries as a food source.

They are commercially important in some regions and used in culinary preparations, such as seafood dishes and soups, particularly in European coastal communities.

12. Common Periwinkle Snail

Common Periwinkle Snail
by Neil DeMaster is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Common Periwinkle Snail, scientifically known as Littorina littorea, is a small marine snail that can be found along the rocky shores of the northeastern Atlantic Ocean.

This snail species holds both historical and culinary significance. 

In the past, the Common Periwinkle Snail was a vital food source in Scotland, where it was considered an essential part of the diet.

Today, it continues to be valued as a delicacy in African and Asian cuisines. It’s small size and edible nature make it a popular culinary choice. 

The Common Periwinkle Snail is known for its omnivorous diet, mainly grazing on algae.

However, it may also consume small invertebrates like barnacle larvae, showcasing its adaptability to different food sources.

Furthermore, aside from its culinary importance, the Common Periwinkle Snail is utilized as bait in fishing due to its availability and attractiveness to certain fish species.

This snail species has become an integral part of coastal ecosystems, contributing to the ecological balance by consuming algae and serving as a food source for larger predators.

Its adaptability to different habitats along rocky shores allows the Common Periwinkle Snail to thrive.

13. Malaysian Trumpet Snails

Malaysian Trumpet Snails
by flaring is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Malaysian Trumpet Snails, scientifically known as Melanoides tuberculata, are freshwater snails found in aquariums, ponds, and other aquatic environments.

They are known for their conical shells and unique reproductive behavior.

These types of snails are often considered pets and pests in the aquarium hobby.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails primarily feed on leftover fish food, decaying plant matter, and other edible materials at the bottom of the tank.

They are particularly efficient at cleaning up excess food and detritus, helping maintain the aquarium’s overall water quality.

14. Violet Sea Snails

Violet Sea Snails
by Thursby16 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Violet Sea Snails, scientifically known as Janthina janthina, are intriguing marine snails with vibrant violet-colored shells.

These snails are also commonly referred to as bubble-raft snails due to their unique mode of transportation.

Violet Sea Snails cannot swim or crawl on surfaces, unlike most snails. Instead, they rely on a clever adaptation to navigate the open ocean.

Violet Sea Snails live in warm waters found in temperate and tropical seas worldwide.

To overcome their lack of mobility, these snails create buoyant rafts using air bubbles. They produce a mucus-covered structure that traps air, forming a floating raft on the ocean’s surface.

By attaching themselves to these rafts, the snails can be transported over long distances by ocean currents and wind.

The snails use their muscular feet to cling to the underside of their bubble rafts while their beautiful violet-colored shells remain above the waterline.

This adaptation enables them to drift and feed on prey suspended in the water column, such as small jellyfish, salps, and other marine organisms.

Violet Sea Snails are carnivorous and primarily feed on marine invertebrates. They have a specialized radula, a feeding organ, that allows them to scrape and consume their prey.

Although their diet mainly consists of gelatinous creatures, there have been reports of them feeding on other small mollusks and zooplankton.

15. Sea Butterflies

Sea Butterflies, scientifically known as Thecosomata, are small pelagic snails that inhabit the open ocean.

Unlike most snails, Sea Butterflies have adapted to a free-swimming lifestyle rather than crawling on surfaces.

You can’t believe they are also known as sea angels due to their graceful appearance as they swim and float in the water.

Sea Butterflies possess unique wing-like lobes, which they use for propulsion and navigation in the water.

These lobes, called parapodia, allow them to move and maneuver easily. As they swim, their delicate and translucent shells, resembling butterfly wings, become visible.

These fascinating types of snails primarily feed on small crustaceans, such as copepods and other planktonic organisms.

They use their tentacle-like extensions, called tentacles or buccal cones, to capture their prey.

These tentacles have tiny, hair-like structures called cilia, which create water currents to direct food particles toward the snail’s mouth.

Despite their small size, Sea Butterflies play an important role in the marine food chain. They serve as a vital food source for marine organisms, including fish, sea birds, and even whales.

They are considered prey to these larger animals due to their abundance and nutritional value.

16. Geography Cones

Geography Cones
by Misenus1 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Geography Cones, scientifically known as Conus geographus, are a species of venomous marine snails found in the reefs of the Indo-Pacific region.

These different types of snails are renowned for their strikingly patterned brown and white shells, which shell collectors highly prize.

However, it is important to exercise caution around Geography Cones as they are considered one of the most venomous creatures in the world.

The venom of the Geography Cone is potent and can be extremely dangerous to humans. In fact, it is capable of causing human death if not promptly treated.

The snail delivers its venom through a harpoon-like tooth, known as a radula, located within its proboscis.

When threatened or in defense, the Geography Cone can rapidly extend its proboscis and strike its prey or perceived threat with remarkable accuracy.

Despite their dangerous nature, these snails play a significant role in their marine ecosystem. They feed on other marine invertebrates, including small fish, worms, and other snails.

By controlling the population of these organisms, these different types of snails help maintain the delicate balance of the reef ecosystem.

17. Candy Cane Snails

Candy Cane Snails, scientifically known as Liguus virgineus, are a fascinating species of land snails that inhabit trees in the Caribbean region.

They are widely recognized for their strikingly colorful shells, which feature a white base with a rainbow-colored stripe spiraling around them.

These types of snails are arboreal, meaning they live and climb on trees rather than the ground.

Their unique adaptation allows them to cling to vertical surfaces and move effortlessly on branches and leaves.

Candy Cane Snails are primarily found in humid and tropical environments, where they feed on various plant materials.

In terms of diet, Candy Cane Snails are considered herbivorous. They graze on various types of foliage, including leaves, flowers, and fruits found in their tree habitat.

Their feeding behavior plays an important role in the ecosystem, as they contribute to the decomposition of organic matter and aid in nutrient cycling.

Due to their captivating appearance, Candy Cane Snails are sought after by shell collectors and enthusiasts.

However, it is crucial to ensure that their populations in the wild are not depleted through excessive collection, as these different types of snails play a vital role in their natural habitats.

18. Rabbit snails

Rabbit Snails, scientifically known as Tylomelania, are unique freshwater snails that have gained popularity among aquarium enthusiasts.

These different types of snails are native to Sulawesi, Indonesia. They are becoming favorites among hobbyists due to their impressive size, distinct coloration, and their resemblance to rabbits, especially in the shape of their faces. 

One notable characteristic of Rabbit Snails is their rough and wrinkled skin, which sets them apart from most other snail species with soft and gelatinous skin.

Their rough texture and elongated bodies give them a unique appearance, earning them the nickname “elephant snails” as well.

19. Pond Snails

Pond Snails
by coniferconifer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Pond Snails, scientifically known as Lymnaea stagnalis, is a type of aquatic snail found in various freshwater habitats such as ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams.

They are known for their ability to adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions, making them quite common in many aquatic ecosystems.

Pond Snails are considered both beneficial and, at times, problematic. Some people value them for their ability to clean water tanks and ponds by feeding on algae, dead plant matter, and detritus. 

You can’t believe they can also serve as a food source for certain aquatic animals.

However, in certain situations, when food is abundant, Pond Snails can reproduce rapidly and become a nuisance, leading to an overpopulation issue.

These snails are considered omnivorous, meaning they have a varied diet. They primarily feed on algae but consume dead plants, detritus (organic debris), and excess fish food. 

Pond Snails are generally safe with healthy aquatic plants, as they primarily graze on decaying matter and algae.

However, if their population grows too large, they can damage live plants by nibbling on their leaves.

Aquarium hobbyists often use strategies to control the population of Pond Snails by limiting their food supply.

These different types of snails population can be managed more effectively by reducing the available food sources, such as excess fish food and decaying plant matter.

20. Assassin Snails

Assassin Snails
by Vee-vee is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Assassin Snails, scientifically known as Clea Helena, are a fascinating species of freshwater snails that have gained popularity among aquarium enthusiasts.

These different types of snails are named for their unique predatory behavior, as they are highly effective hunters of other snail species.

Native to Southeast Asia, Assassin Snails are known for their attractive conical shells and distinct yellow and black striped patterns, making them visually appealing additions to aquariums.

One of the primary reasons why aquarists choose Assassin Snails is their ability to control snail populations in the tank.

They have a voracious appetite for other snails, especially pest snails that can quickly multiply and become a nuisance. 

Assassin Snails use a specialized proboscis to penetrate the shells of their prey and consume them. As a result, they can help maintain a balanced snail population in the aquarium.

Aside from their predatory nature, Assassin Snails are relatively low-maintenance and can adapt well to different water conditions.

They primarily feed on snails, but they will also consume other small invertebrates, decaying matter, and excess fish food, contributing to the overall cleanliness of the tank. 

21. Columbian Ramshorn Apple Snail

Columbian Ramshorn Apple Snail - Different Types of Snails
Photo by monicore on Pexels

The Columbian Ramshorn Apple Snail, Marisa Cornuarietis, is ending our list of types of snails and a large freshwater snail native to South and Central America.

Here are some key features and characteristics of the Columbian Ramshorn Apple Snail:

The Columbian Ramshorn Apple Snail is known for its distinctive appearance. It has a relatively large shell that can reach up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.

The shell is typically brown or golden in color, often with dark spiral markings. The snail’s body has a yellowish or greenish hue.

These different types of snails are primarily found in freshwater environments such as rivers, ponds, and lakes in their native range.

They prefer areas with abundant vegetation and slow-moving water.

The Columbian Ramshorn Apple Snail is an omnivorous species that consume plant matter and other small organisms.

Its diet includes algae, aquatic plants, decaying organic matter, snails, and dead fish. They play a beneficial role in aquariums by helping to control algae growth.

As with any aquatic species, it’s important to research and understands the specific care requirements of Columbian Ramshorn Apple Snails if you consider keeping them in an aquarium.

Proper water quality, temperature, and suitable tank conditions should be provided to ensure their health and well-being.


Snails are fascinating creatures that have been around for millions of years. They belong to the gastropod family and are found worldwide in different habitats.

These slimy animals come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, from garden snails to sea snails. 

Our posts have dived into the world of snails.

And now that you’ve understood the different types of snails, it will help you in your adventure of snails and appreciate these fascinating creatures even more. 

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