Meet The Fire Snail, The 'Dracula' Among Snails

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Meet The Fire Snail, The 'Dracula' Among Snails

There has been a huge trend in recent years for a certain type of pet. Not the sort of pet that we might immediately think of or that we could imagine ourselves cuddling up with in front of the TV. These pets certainly don’t bark or meow (unless they are Gary from Spongebob)!


Snails! Yes that’s right, snails have become the most recent pet fad. While it may seem weird at first, when we realise all the weird and wonderful varieties of snail that exist it can be far more easily understood as to why so many people are, in some cases unfortunately, drawn to them.


When it comes to snails there are few more weird than the Platymma tweediei, sometimes known as the ‘fire-snail’, it is also easy to see where they get their name from! These large snails, about the size of a human hand, are found only in the mountain rainforests on the Malaysian peninsula.



The secretion of these snails, the slime trail which helps them grasp as they move along on their foot, is often used as a dye in cosmetics and their shells are used as decoration. As a result of this many of them are being taken by traders from the wild and killed for profit. Similarly, because the snails are so unusual they are now frequently being taken from the wild to be sold on as pets to exotic wildlife collectors. However, due to the unique nature of the snail they can be very difficult to keep in good health while held in captivity.



The fire-snails can only survive in cool humid conditions, the humidity levels of their usual Malaysian habitat is around 79%, and they also require a very particular diet to keep them alive and well. It is often found that snails kept in captivity lack calcium which is how their shell is kept hard and protected. Any deviation in the humidity of this snail’s environment or change in the diet of the snail can lead to their untimely death and therefore keeping them as pets should only be done by those with specialist training, equipment and knowledge.



They may be slow, slimy and not everyone’s cup of tea but they sure are fascinating. After seeing these pictures you will no doubt understand people’s interest in them, even if you don’t fancy getting too close! Here is hoping that the message is received that fire-snails are not pets and that they should be left to flourish in the wild.









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Thinking Humanity: Meet The Fire Snail, The 'Dracula' Among Snails
Meet The Fire Snail, The 'Dracula' Among Snails
There has been a huge trend in recent years for a certain type of pet. Not the sort of pet that we might immediately think of or that we could imagine ourselves cuddling up with in front of the TV. These pets certainly don’t bark or meow (unless they are Gary from Spongebob)!
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