The Giant African Land Snail (Achatina fulica).
The Giant African Land Snails (Achatina sp.) are molluscs and make ideal pets as they are easy to look after. They can live for several years and grow up to 20cm in length. The snails are most active during the night (they are nocturnal).
The African Land Snails are very easy to feed, as they will eat a wide variety of things. The best food is lettuce and cucumber but apple, banana and cabbage can also be given. However, if you give your snails food that goes off quickly (like banana and apple) be sure to remove it when it has gone brown so as not to make your snails ill. An essential part of the snails diet is calcium. This is used to keep their shells strong and healthy and calcium can be provided in the form of a cuttlefish bone.
All snails are hermaphrodites, which means that they have both male and female sex organs, so although you need two snails in order for them to breed, it doesn’t matter which two. If conditions are ideal, the snails will produce nests of small, white round eggs.
Snails can produce more than one clutch of eggs following mating. As a result, snails that have not have been in contact with other snails for some time may still produce batches of viable eggs (assuming the snail was an adult when it was in contact with other snails).
Health and cleanliness
Consequently, after handling snails you shouldwash and disinfect hands thoroughly.
Giant African Land Snails. Like many slugs and snails, Giant African Land Snails are capable of carrying a parasite known as Rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis). This is a parasite of rats but the larvae is passed to snails when snails eat infected rat droppings. Rats then eat the snails and the parasite is passed back to the rat to complete its life cycle.
This parasite can be passed to humans if they eat live/raw infected snails or a part of a snail. In most cases infection does not require medical treatment but, in very rare cases, can cause a rare form of meningitis.