Mud snail

More about the mud snail

Eats diatoms

The mud snail eats mainly diatoms, bacteria and other microorganisms. Sometimes they eat parts of plants, but they usually only utilize microorganisms. Plant parts can be extruded from the intestines unaltered. Quite quickly a new growth of microorganisms appears that they are able to eat.
    Tracks can be easily seen in the bottom sediment showing where the mud snail has been eating. Mud snails also have the ability to dig down into the sediment when it becames drained (i.e. low tide) or too cold.

Eats under a raft

Apart from creeping about on the bottom, the mud snail can also secrete a raft of mucus that floats on the water surface. On this raft nutritive substances and bacteria form. The mud snail creeps on the underside of its raft while it eats the bacteria.
    Mud snails move quite slowly, but when it creeps on the surface of its mucus raft, it can, with the help of water currents cover large distances. Mud snails can even be swept with the currents while creeping on the bottom.
    Mud snails even eat blue-green bacteria, microscopic diatoms and large algae such as sea-lettuce.

Many die during the winter

During the winter many mud snails die. The hazards are many: hunger, ice, cold, lack of oxygen and being thrown up onto the beach. After such a wholesale death, the ”sand” on the beach can be composed entirely of empty shells. Those mud snails that survive hardly grow during the winter. Only during the spring (April-May) do they start growing again.

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Eats diatoms

Eats under a raft

Many die during the winter

Eaten by crabs

Males are missing

Found from Norway to Senegal

Attacked by parasites

Mud snail     More facts     Other names
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Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson