Horned Nerite Snail

Horned Nerite Snail

The Horned Nerite Snail is named after the horn like appendages that protrude outward from the shell. It is a black and yellow striped coloration combining in a swirl patter. The shell of the Horned Nerite Snail is very sturdy and the "horns" are a definitely defense mechanism as they can even poke or prick a human during handling. It is an extremely docile creature and does not bother any other inhabitants.

Breeding
One downside to the Horned Nerite Snail, and this applies to most other nerite species, is its inability to breed in pure freshwater. The Horned Nerite Snail requires brackish water in order to breed successfully. Some hobbyists have been somewhat successful in breeding nerite snails but it does not seem that the young snails survive for too long. Some may look at this as a plus, meaning that the Horned Nerite Snail will not over populate a tank and become a pest in the aquarium.

Appearance
The Horned Nerite Snail is the smallest of the variety of Nerite's that I have kept. It's average size is approximately 1/4" in diameter but some older specimens can reach up to 1/2" in diameter. It's small size does not take away from the beauty of this snail however. The Horned Nerite has a beautiful black and yellow swirl coloration. As the snail grows the color patter continues with the stripes of black and yellow becoming wider. The coloration and swirl appears in even the smallest specimens. There are other color varieties of the Horned Nerite Snail, some with interesting patterns and different swirl coloration.

Horns
The horns, or spikes, of the Horned Nerite Snail appear at random and do not follow a certain positioning pattern when compared to other specimens of the Horned Nerite. What determines the size and positioning of the horns is unknown. It is also unknown as to whether or not the horns continue to grow longer as the snail ages. The horns typically appear at the beginning and/or back of the shell. Even though the area where the horns appear is from older growth, the horns may still extend. Care should be given as to not grab the Horned Nerite Snail too hard or else the spikes have the potential to break skin.

Feeding
Even though the Horned Nerite Snail is small its algae eating abilities are extraordinary. This snail will clean your tank glass spotless and also clean algae off of rocks and even leaves. Its small size is a great benefit for those who wish to clean algae off of leaves. The Horned Nerite Snail is very lightweight and will not fall off of leaves like other algae eating snails may. It is also recommended to feed the Horned Nerite Snail algae wafers or similar type food to supplement its captive diet as it can quickly clean a tank of all its algae.

Behavior
The Horned Nerite Snail can tend to escape from a tank and make its way outside of the tank. It is considered a tidal snail and can live outside of water. Simply pick them up and put them back inside of the tank. The Horned Nerite Snail will survive as long as they have not been out of the tank for too long. It is recommend to keep an eye on them and look around the tank occasionally for possible escapes. It is thought that when the snail is uncomfortable it will escape, but will not when happy.

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