Hello, we are Samson and Delilah, and we are Giant African Land Snails. We are Bonnie and Colin’s slimiest pets!!! As you will see from the picture below, fully grown, we are about the size of a hand. Giant African Land Snails are hermaphrodites, this means that we have both male and female sex organs (see diagram below). This doesn't mean that you only need one snail to breed, there still needs to be at least two of us in a tank if you are hoping for baby snails! When we mate we shoot small white 'love darts', these stick to our necks and look a bit like a parasite. Giant African Land Snails are very easy to keep, we have a diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, that are all washed thoroughly before they are given to us. It is also important for us to have calcium in our diet to help with shell building, so Bonnie gives us cuttlefish too. We live in a large glass tank, that is 3’x1’x1.5’. It has two to three inches of Irish Moss Peat on the bottom which is free from pesticides and other chemicals. It also needs to be kept nice and moist for us, so it is sprayed with water at least every other day. We also have some bark for us to hide under. The tank's temperature needs to be between 20-25˚C, so in the cold months we have a heat lamp fitted to the top of our tank so that we stay nice and warm and don't go into hibernation. The lamp has a cage around it so we can not touch it and get burnt. When a snail goes into hibernation you will find that we have retreated into our shell and a dry crispy membrane has formed over the shell opening. You can bring us out of hibernation by gently removing the membrane with your thumb and raising the tank's temperature. It is also a good idea to spray the tank with water to help bring us out of hibernation.
We are quite happy to be handled, as long as it is done carefully, so that our shells are not damaged. Usually Bonnie uses a wet finger to slide gently under us, while lifting us with her other hand. Once she has hold of us, she puts us onto the back of her hand and settles down to watch telly, while we slime our way up her arm!
Bonnie sometime gives us a bath too, this is done with a soft tooth brush dipped in warm water, she then gently scrubs our shells to remove any dirt. This helps keep our shells in good condition.
Unfortunately, Information on Giant African Land Snails is not very easy to come by, so after gathering as much information as possible, Bonnie and Colin put it all together on this webpage to make it easier for others interested in keeping Giant African Land Snails to find.