Over the last five years, keeping terrestrial snails (land snails) as pets has seen a spike in popularity and keeping aquatic snails in aquariums has been popular for decades so we have noticed more and more questions about the behaviour of snails.
Although we do see some questions specific to terrestrial snails and some questions specific to land snails, one of the most common questions that we see people asking that applies to both is if snails fight or not.
Due to seeing so many people who keep terrestrial or aquatic snails reaching out and asking about snails fighting each other each month, we have decided to publish this article to try and help as many of our readers who keep snails as possible.
Now, please note that different snail species that are commonly kept are slightly different to each other but for the most part, the information in our article is correct for the majority of snail species.
Another common mistake that we see people make time and time again is that they will mistake their snails breeding for their snails fighting.
This is very easy to misinterpret and even experienced snail keepers can make the same mistake in some situations.
Can You Keep Two Snails Together?
You can usually keep multiple land snails or multiple aquatic snails together in the same environment without issue provided that their nutritional needs are met.
There are some carnivore snail species like the assassin snail that will fight, kill, and eat other snails but most snails are generally peaceful.
The main thing that causes problems with snails resulting in fighting and snails eating other snails is a lack of food in their environment.
Thankfully, the majority of terrestrial land snails are very easy to feed with simple kitchen scraps or nutritionally complete snail foods.
Aquatic snails are usually even easier to keep due to the majority of them being able to eat the algae that grows in their tank as well as any discarded fish food that falls to the bottom of the tank.
One mistake that we do see people making time and time again is to neglect the calcium needs of snails and this can result in fighting in some situations.
Thankfully, cuttlebone is a cheap and easy option to add some much-needed calcium into your snail’s diet and our article going over feeding your pet snails cuttlebone can be helpful if you think that your snails are deficient in calcium.
Do Snails Fight?
It is rare that snails will fight as they have no social hierarchy of dominance and there is generally plenty of food available for a large number of snails drastically reducing the need to display aggression to each other.
Some snails like assassin snails will fight other snails due to being carnivores and wanting to eat them though.
Many other snail species that are normally peaceful with each other have been documented to become aggressive and fight if their nutritional requirements are not being met.
As we touched on above, general food is usually easy to come by for snails but the calcium that is essential for their shells can be harder to find and cause fights between snails.
Snails will commonly climb on each other when traversing their environment and this does not necessarily mean that they are fighting or mating.
It is simply the snail traveling from point a to point b in the most efficient way with some snails not even realizing that they are crawling over other snails while traveling.
Are My Snails Fighting Or Mating?
It is very common to mistake two snails mating for two snails fighting and due to the lack of aggression displayed by most snail species, it is usually much more likely that two snails will actually be mating than fighting.
If the two snails are of a different species then it can be more likely that they are fighting or one snail is simply crawling over another snail.
As we mentioned earlier, some carnivorous snails such as assassin snails will actively hunt down other snails in their environment to eat them.
If you see two snails close to each other and one of them is an assassin snail or another carnivorous snail species then it is more likely that the other snail is being attacked but it will often be too late to save them anyway.
If there has been a distinct lack of food in the snail’s environment then this will also increase the chances of them fighting each other too.
This can be more common with aquatic snails as the aquarium keeper gets used to not having to feed their snails and then does a tank clean and removes all of the algae.
It then takes time for the algae to build back up to a level that is able to support the snail population and can cause snails to fight.
Do Snails Kill Other Snails?
There are some carnivorous snail species that will happily kill other snails as a food source but snails that are normally peaceful can sometimes kill other snails if food levels are low.
This does tend to be rare though and is less common in pet snails due to the steady, constant food supply for the snails.
Some people who keep aquariums will intentionally add a single assassin snail to their tank as a way to keep the snail population of other species under control.The assassin snail will hunt the other snails and eat them to prevent overpopulation.
When it comes to terrestrial land snails, this does tend to be less common, especially for the land snails more commonly kept as pets as normal garden snails can simply be released into your garden if they overpopulate and the rarer terrestrial snails can be difficult to breed.
Still though, there are some terrestrial land snails that will eat other snails and some beginners have made the mistake of accidentally adding them to an enclosure with their other snails with devastating results.
That brings our article going over if snails fight each other to a close. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the various ins and outs of why snails may fight or eat each other. On top of that, as we touched on earlier in the article it is normal for snails to crawl over each other when going from one place to another and many people mistake snails breeding as snails fighting too.