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How to breed snails of species Helix Aspersa Maxima

Helix Aspersa Maxima are big gray snails, a species of edible mollusks that are bred for use in cooking and cosmetology. Another name for the species is Gros Gris.

In the natural environment

Gros Gris was bred in 1978 by breeders. In general, the species Aspersa from the Mediterranean and Western Europe.

Like other mollusks, the gray snails are hermaphrodite, that is, each individual produces both male and female gametes. Therefore, it is possible both sexual reproduction of two individuals and self-fertilization (although the former happens many times more often).

Creatures use love darts to mate and fertilize. During the direct breeding, two individuals touch each other with their torsos and exchange seeds. As a result, after about 2 weeks, the snail lays about 80 eggs.How to breed snails of  species Helix Aspersa Maxima

Important! Pearl white eggs are much appreciated as a cooking product. Snail caviar is the most expensive in the world because it is collected and washed by hand.

Shellfish lay eggs in the soil or under stones, providing protection for future progeny. When the small snails ripen, they gnaw through the eggshell and creep up, eating land during their journey. From the earth and shell they get the calcium necessary for the fortress of their shell.

The size of one egg is approximately 4 mm. In one year, one individual lays up to six cocoon. But only about 60-70% of the progeny survive in natural conditions — snails have many enemies among insects and small predators.

Helix Aspersa Maxima grows to a mature state in about 1-2 years.

Breeding season of Helix Aspersa Maxima

During breeding, Gros Gris bred in the summer and in the autumn-winter period. After a decade, breeders managed to achieve a shift in the mating period. Now the “graph” of gray large snails is more similar to the life activity of a similar species, also in demand in culinary and cosmetology — Helix Pomatia, grape, or Burgundy, snails.

  • in winter, fall into suspended animation for 3 months;
  • wake up and lay eggs in spring.

In artificial conditions

To breed Gris Gros on a farm, it is important to provide creatures with optimal living conditions:

  • Farm temperature up to 25 degrees Celsius. During the breeding period — 20 degrees Celsius. Young snails are kept in a temperature regime of 17 degrees.
  • Humidity at the level of 85-90%. It needs to be constantly monitored, because with a decrease of humidity level snails die, and with an increase it falls into suspended animation.
  • Good ventilation.

In artificial conditions, it is possible to grow a new batch of gray big snails in 7-9 months. It is also easier to protect snails and caviar on the farm; therefore, up to 90% of individuals usually survive from new progeny.How to breed snails of  species Helix Aspersa Maxima

It is difficult to notice when mollusks start to mating, therefore, with the beginning of the breeding season, an even number of them are moved to a separate room, and when the eggs are already laid, they are transferred to a separate incubator with appropriate conditions. It is possible to transfer the progeny to the rest of the mollusks as soon as they hatch and get a little stronger.

The farm must be protected from insects, predators and infections  for healthy snails and progeny. In addition, it is important to ensure that the creatures receive all the necessary nutrients. For this:

  • feed them balanced feed;
  • ensure that plants grow on the farm so that snails can crawl freely and sometimes eat them;
  • regularly change calcined soil in incubators with an acidity level of 3.5-4.5 pH (acid peat is ideal).

Important! Young progeny feeds with soil for the first time, transfer it to regular nutrition at the time of migration to the rest of the creature.

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