|Pomacea bridgesii in aquarium|
- See also: Pomacea diffusa, formerly known as Pomacea bridgesii.
Pomacea bridgesii, common names the spike-topped apple snail or mystery snail, is a South American species of freshwater snail with gills and an operculum, an aquatic gastropod mollusk in the family Ampullariidae.
- Pomacea bridgesii bridgesii (Reeve, 1856)
- Pomacea bridgesii diffusa (Blume, 1957)
Apple snails possess structurally complex eyes at the tip of a cephalic eyestalk. These snails possess the ability to regenerate the eye completely after amputation through the mid-eyestalk. They are born with both gills and lungs. Mystery snails also possess a siphon which is a small tube like feature used to breathe air. They frequently surface to the top of the water to breathe.
This species is non-indigenous in Hawaii since 1960 (Pomacea bridgesii diffusa), southeast Asia since the 1980s, and Florida since the early 1980s (Pomacea bridgesii diffusa).
Most apple snails lay their eggs above the water line. Mystery Snails are gonochoristic which means a male and female must be present for reproduction. The eggs take 2–4 weeks to hatch. The snails can produce as many as two-hundred offspring from one egg-laying event. Sometimes not all of the eggs are fertilized so they don't all hatch. When they do hatch, the hatchlings run the risk of getting eaten if they share an aquarium with fish. Hatchling mystery snails will grow quickly if given an appropriate amount of food and calcium. A hatchling mystery snail will start as a small spec and can grow to the size of a pea in just over a week. A mystery snail is considered to be breeding size once they are almost the size of a golf ball, which can take as little as 2 months with the proper diet.
This species is often kept as an aquarium pet, because of its wide range of shell colors, lack of appetite for live plants, and ease of care. Although they seem like simple creatures, mystery snails do require proper maintenance. Many domestic mystery snails or those in pet stores suffer health issues related to shell, nutrient, and water quality. Regular calcium intake is required for their shells. Many mystery snail owners make food called snail jello for their pets to eat. Nutritious vegetables and as well calcium supplements can be added to this.
- Pastorino, G. & Darrigan, G. (2011). "Pomacea bridgesii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2011: e.T189088A8678453. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T189088A8678453.en.
- Bover, M. M. (1988). "Eye regeneration in the mystery snail". J. Exp. Zool. 245 (1): 33–42. doi:10.1002/jez.1402450106. PMID 3351443.
- Pomacea bridgesi at applesnail.net
- "Mystery Snail Complete Care Guide (Blue, Black, Gold and More) | Fishkeeping World". Retrieved 10 October 2019.
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