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  1. #1
    Senior Member ECooper's Avatar
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    surprising assassin snail feeding behaviour (pics)

    So I walk by the aquarium one day and see that there is an assassin snail climbing up the inside of the glass and on a collision course for a pond snail heading the opposite way. “Aha!” I thought to myself, “maybe I am about to see an assassin eat its prey!”

    So I watched as the two snails crept slowly towards each other…and then finally met face to face…at which point neither even slowed down. Each headed on their original course…the pond snail simply crawled up the front of the assassin snail, moved the length of its shell, and then down off the tip of the shell back to the glass, and proceeded on it’s way. It was the oddest thing! I walked away feeling somewhat amused…the dreaded assassin snail indeed!

    While this was happening, I noticed that there was a second pond snail a few inches ahead of the assassin, but going in the same direction. A few minutes later, I walked by again to discover that the assassin snail had continued on its way, overtaken the second pond snail, and proceeded to engulf it. Doing so necessitated losing its grip on the glass. It was suspended for a while on some hornwort, then fell to the bottom, finished feeding on the pond snail and departed, leaving an empty shell behind. The whole process look only minutes. I have attached a series of photos…

    Anyhow, I got to thinking…could the assassin snail have been tracking the pond snail it eventually ate by following its slime trail? Maybe that was why it didn’t eat the first pond snail…it really didn’t know it was there. It would be interesting to run some experiments to see if indeed that is how assassin snails feed…by following the slime trails of their prey.
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  2. #2
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    Interesting thought and great pic! I have assasin snails. I've never seen them feed, but have a lot of empty shells in the tanks.
    I have to many
    75gal, 60gal, 3-55gal, 29gal, 20gal, 15gal, 2-10gal.



  3. #3
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    absolutely fabulous photography, magazine-quality. How big is the assassin? I've never kept them and there is nothing to give scale except the (late) pondie.

    great work, and interesting question. Assign a couple of grad students to watch the tank 24/7 and gather data. Sign your name to the paper they write, and publish on PLoS. Become tenured.



  4. #4
    Snails, Guppies and Corys, OH MY!!! GuppyGirl1230's Avatar
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    ECooper!!!

    Beautiful pics, and what an interesting theory!! I would be very interested in the results of an experiment to test it!!

    Maribeth


    "When you judge someone, you do not define them, you define yourself" -Wayne Dyer



  5. #5
    Senior Member huffmagx's Avatar
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    Fantastic Photo's!
    My Photos: http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/album.php?u=94896


    Coffee is not a drug its a vitamin!



  6. #6
    Senior_Member user_name's Avatar
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    awesome idea, you may be onto something.
    Quote Originally Posted by kyhokie View Post
    I bet your favorite website is overstock.com. Hey-oh!



  7. #7
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    A very good photography and nice tracking , the results of the theory might be very interesting when tested.
    A cool head earns more friends.



  8. #8
    Eheim User
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    Excellent photo spread!! I also only see empty shells in my tanks with assassin snails. Maybe I'll have to start looking at the tanks longer to catch them doing their job.

    What camera are you using for these wonderful pics?
    Dee

    Eheim Pro II 2028; Classic Series 2215, 2217, 2260, 2262; Pro 2229 Wet/Dry



  9. #9
    Lover of Oddballs jackiomy's Avatar
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    Ewww gross! I have assassins and would rather not think about what they do. LOL
    ""I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I've been knocking from the inside."
    -- Rumi




  10. #10
    Senior Member EOD's Avatar
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    So an easy way to get rid of the all the pond snails in my tank would be to get 1 or 2 assassin snails?
    2.5G- Crowntail Betta | Ghost Shrimp | MTS
    14G- 4 gourami|pleco|2 glofish|4 corydoras | MTS
    16GBow-1 blue ram|6 ember tetra|5 black rasbora|ottocinclus |8 ghost shrimp | MTS
    35G Hex-
    2 dojo loaches|9 corydoras|pleco|3 apple snails | MTS
    45G
    - 3 convicts|11 tiger barbs|10 corydoras | 1 dojo loach | MTS



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