Is a snail an insect? Every part about snails

Snails! They're cute, but most gardeners aren't happy when snails eat their plants. They are often treated as pests because snails can feed on foliage and remove tender leaves quickly. Some see little difference between snails and insects. But is a snail an insect?

Well the short answer is no. They are members of the animal kingdom, like beetles. But they are in a very different tribe – the Mollusca tribe, to be precise – as opposed to insects, which are part of the Arthropoda tribe.

And what is the difference between a snail and a slug anyway? Is it just the shell? Whether they are or not, and gardeners like them or not, they are an important part of the ecosystem. They are not furry creatures like mammals. And although they're slimy, they're not worms.

So let's dive into an investigation into what snails are. We'll take a little time to discuss how you can use it in your garden as well. That way, you can leave this piece with a little more knowledge of these closely related creatures.

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Classifying snails

Is a snail an insect? Let's explore that. Source: Nutmeg66

There are so many different types of snails. There are land snails, freshwater snails, marine snails. These are all different species, but they are all gastropods or they go into the class Gastropoda. The term gastropod is derived from the Greek words for foot (poús) and stomach (gastros), which refer to their fleshy foot that sits on the underside of their body. So now we know that snails are actually snails, not insects.


Both nudibranchs and slugs are invertebrates belonging to the Mollusca class, which are home to clams, mussels, and oysters. Interestingly, the Mollusca tribe also includes cuttlefish and octopus. However, due to their intelligence, cuttlefish and squid are classified differently.

On mussels

The mollusks, known as slugs and slugs, have different shells. Generally the shells are made of calcium carbonate. However, there are habitats where calcium carbonate is scarce. In this case, nudibranchs and slugs that live there have very thin shells, or shells, made up of a protein called conchiolin. Some may have adapted to environments that do not contain calcium carbonate at all. In this case, there must be no shell.

Difference between snails and snails

The difference between snails and nudibranchs has a lot to do with mussels. Snails are closely related to the snail and evolved from it. Although it doesn't appear to be, they often have an inner shell shaped similar to that on the back of a snail. As we mentioned in the last section, both of them may not have a shell at all in certain environments.

The other difference between nudibranchs and slugs is based on the habitat we will later see (with a slimy trail!) But note that these differences are based on behavior that is directly related to the environment in which they live.

So are snails insects? No! Are snails insects? Nope. It turns out that they are both different types of molluscs in the animal kingdom. But they are not typical mollusks like oysters, clams and clams.

Life cycle of snails

Sprinkle lemon balmSnails are closely related to snails. Source: thatSandygirl

The overall course of mating habits and the life cycle of these animals is largely determined by the environment. Because freshwater snails have different habits than land snails, we will cover the basic life cycle of snails in general. Note that unlike humans, they are a hermaphroditic animal and can both carry binary elements necessary for reproduction.

The stage of development

The most dangerous phase in the life of a gastropod is the phase from fertilization to hatching from the egg. Slugs and slugs often mate and lay eggs in large numbers. Only a very small percentage hatch successfully. Other molluscs, such as clams, lay eggs outside their shell in order to be fertilized.

The egg cell

Most snails have internal fertilization and often lay so-called nurse eggs, which feed the viable offspring that have hatched from other eggs. In fact, cannibalism is widespread in many different species of land and freshwater snails. As soon as snails and slugs hatch from the egg, they are considered larvae hatchlings. Both slugs and snails are born with a shell (if their habitat supports one).

Larval stage

When the snail or snail body grows, they fly freely on the earth and in the sea. At least initially. They go through two larval stages: the trochophores and the veliger. The fundamental difference between the two stages is that invertebrate trochophores tend to stay close to the breeding area, while veligers are large enough to leave their original hatchery.

Youth phase

There is a metamorphosis between the larval and juvenile stages that occurs at the point in the larval stage when slugs and slugs are too large to continue feeding with their current anatomy. When they make this change, they develop an esophagus that gives them the opportunity to eat plants. A snail or a slug has to eat, right?

At this time, nudibranchs and snails have what is known as a navel. This can be on the underside of a slug or on the shell of a snail. Much like a belly button that humans have, there is no use for this function. It's just a holdover from the beginning of their life in the egg.

Adult stage

Once the navel is no longer there, nudibranchs are considered fully grown. And what do adult nudibranchs like to do most? They like to eat! And science tells us that they live up to two years apart from an act of God … or spiders.

What do snails eat?

White-lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis)The white-lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis) is quite pretty. Source: Martin Cooper Ipswich

Here, too, the food intake of snails is largely determined by their habitat. Many species eat plants. Some species eat debris or decaying material. They thrive on everything that is there. Some are parasites and others are carnivores that live on the energy of eating other animals such as worms. They are considered generalists who feed on all the plants and animals there is. Because of this, garden snails have a bad reputation as pests.

Usually, those who eat worms and other animals (including insects) have teeth. And those who eat plants and detritus have teeth. What we are saying here is that all snails have teeth and a jaw called a radula, which is used to direct food up the snail's esophagus for digestion.

Common habitats of snails

Snails make up about 80% of the mollusc class, which shows their distribution. They live all over the world, on land and in water. Aquatic snails belong underwater because they have gills that allow them to breathe. Land-dwellers Snails and snails belong on land. They don't have gills to help them breathe when an area becomes flooded. In this case, they have to move.

Snails live under rocks, in earth, sand, leaves, lakes, rivers and oceans. If there is food for a snail, it will live there. If your garden has beautiful plants to eat or worms and insects to ingest, they will be there too. One thing that they absolutely need is adequate moisture. Moisture allows a snail or snail to move. If they cannot move around gardens, woods, lakes, etc., they cannot breathe. The only exception are desert snails. They tend to lose much less moisture than their relatives in more lush habitats.

Dealing with garden snails and nudibranchs

Snail in puddleA snail rests in a shallow puddle. Source: Carl Graph

Now that we know a little about the life of slugs and slugs (they aren't insects! We know that) we can talk about how to deal with them as pests in your garden. Maybe the weather was really rainy and slugs are devouring your garden plants. Perhaps you are looking for answers on how to deal with a wide variety of pests. We have answers!

Beer traps

Well, one of the best ways to keep them away from your plants is with a snail and snail bar in the shape of a beer trap. Nudibranchs and slugs can't resist the lure of the sauce, much like some people you may know. The difference to humans in this case is that they drown in beer.

Copper tape

Another great and organic way to fight snail pests is copper tape. Place a piece of tape around the base of your plants, raised beds, and containers. Pests like nudibranchs don't like the way copper feels on their delicate invertebrate bodies and avoid it. This is a great way to keep them from eating your plants and not killing them at the same time.

Snail and slug bait

If you don't have time for deterrents and just need them gone, there are plenty of slug baits on the market. These baits make it so that you only need to expose them once per season. Sounds great, doesn't it? There are many organic snail bait options out there if you're trying to avoid chemical additives in the garden. Most OMRI-rated snail and slug baits are made primarily from iron phosphate and are suitable for both pets and children. The iron decomposes and supplies the plants with nutrients in the future.

Your benefits for the ecosystem

Snails and nudibranchs are important members of nature unless they are a nuisance. They feed on detritus and help break down plant matter which will help you, gardeners! Some are compost heap aficionados and will help clear up and process any debris you need for your garden. They are also a good source of food for other animals. Toads, worms, beetles and birds all eat snails and slugs.

Huge intruders

However, recently there has been a problem with giant African land snails escaping their respective owners and causing great ecological damage. They eat every type of plant they can, and they also carry worms that cause meningitis in humans. If you find one, you will be asked to take a picture of it and report it to the USDA Invasive Species Unit.

frequently asked Questions

Q: What is a snail classified as?

A: Are snails insects? No! They (and snails) are classified as mollusks. More precisely, they are snails.

Q: Do snails have a gender?

A: They are hermaphrodites, which means that they have both reproductive elements in them.

Q: How long do snails live?

A: Snails live up to two years.

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