Hi everyone. I have wanted for several years to keep snails in captivity as pets and also to try out some selective breeding. After much research, I have decided that Cepaea nemoralis would be one of the best as it is abundant, decent sized, but not too large, and polymorphic, so fertile ground for selective breeding.
I have also read care instructions for snails in general, but wondered if anyone had kept this species before and had any specific advice.
At the moment I am considering translucent plastic storage boxes with about 8 - 10cm of compost at the bottom, and small (non-pine) branches for them to crawl on. I also understand that they prefer to eat vegetation that is slightly past its best. I will also include cuttlebone to keep calcium levels high.
Hi I have Nems, Horties & Aspersas & they all live happily together in a large clear plastic storage box. I treat them as I do my Giants, the same food etc. I make houses from plastic plant pots, put moss in there. The difference is I put ivy, bramble on which they love to climb & sleep. Basil plants for eating & sleeping and I add fallen leaves, I also give them a good spray twice a day. Most of mine get given to me coz they are injured & they are all happy, healthy, active, cute, cheeky, gorgeous and downrite adorable. Good luck with your Snails
Hi yashca, welcome to the forum. You can follow the general care advice with your Cepaea species, with the exception that they do not need a heat mat. They like it cooler than the GALS species, for which the general care info was written. And they will not need as large a tank (a larger tank is fine, just not a necessity).
They like it cool and damp, and they eat most of the same fruit and veg that people do. Sweet potato seems to be a universal favorite, as is cucumber and Romaine lettuce.
I don't have any adive unique to Cepaea, but others here who've kept them can add to the discussion with more details.
I keep C. nemoralis. I keep them colder than my GALS and I leave the food in there for a day longer. They tend to climb more than my other snails and prefer to sleep at the top of their tank instead of buried. In my experience they don't need soil other than for laying eggs, so it is enough with 5 cm. Good luck!
I keep Cepaea outdoors all year in glass aquariums - I originally used plastic tubs but they became brittle in the winter. They didn't breed well when I kept them in my shed which is kept around 23C, I expect they need to hibernate in cool conditions to stimulate breeding. I feed the same foods as my other snails - sweet potato, marrow, cos lettuce plus cuttlefish.
Hybrids are rare but have been produced in captivity and reported at low levels in the wild. This is thought to be partially due to the differences in the shape of the love darts the snails used in courtship.
Incidentally C. nemoralis and C. hortensis can only be 100% told apart by the shape of the love dart or dissection. Since hybrids are rare it doesn't seem to matter keeping them together though and the hybrids tend to be less fertile due to having love darts intermediate between the two species.
Breeding the different colour forms should be really interesting project. There has been lots of work done on the polymorphism and genetics behind the colour forms so a bit of literature searching if you haven't already might give you ideas for breeding.