Giant Tiger Landsnail (Achatina achatina)

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Giant Tiger Landsnail
Achatina achatina
Giant Tiger Landsnail (Achatina achatina)
Name Giant Tiger Landsnail
Name Lat. Achatina achatina
Family Giant African Land Snails
Family lat. Achatinidae
Order Land Snails
Order lat. Stylommatophora
Origin Western and Central Africa
Habitat Wetlands
Diet Fruits, veggies, wet cat food, calcium
Humidity 80-90 %
Behavior Nocturnal
Keeping Group
Care Level Difficult
Housing Humid terrarium
Breeding Difficult
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 20-25 cm
Temperature Day 28-30 °C
Temperature Night 22-24 °C
Housing Size 100 x 40 x 60 cm
US Units
Size 8"-10"
Temperature Day 82-86 °F
Temperature Night 72-75 °F
Housing Size 40" x 15" x 25"

Distribution and habitat

Predominantly crepuscular and nocturnal, true agate snails are the largest known land snails. They are native to West and Central Africa, where they live in the rainforests and swamps.


A terrarium of at least 100 x 40 x 60 cm (L x W x H) for 2-6 animals is recommended. They should be kept at least in pairs, but better in a group. The terrarium should be placed in a quiet place without sunlight.

They need a terrarium with a substrate of terrarium humus mixed with lime soil, at least 10-15 cm deep, suitable for digging and covered with a layer of leaves, so that the pH is 7-8. The substrate must be kept moist at all times. Hidden resting places should be created with strong branches and trunks suitable for crawling, as well as cork tubes. For drinking they need a sufficiently large, shallow water bowl, which is also suitable for bathing. Potted plants (e.g. bamboo, ficus, philodendron, ferns) are advantageous for decoration, as they can be easily removed during cleaning. Several times a day the inside of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water (humidity), but a rain or mist system is better

Temp. day: 28-30 °C Temp. night: 22-24 °C Humidity: 80-90

A thermostatically controlled floor heater or heating mat is recommended. The lighting duration should be 8-12 hours depending on the season. Special lamps with high UV content are not necessary.


The food supply consists of bananas, apples, pears, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, wild herbs, boiled potatoes, eggplants and oatmeal, but also cat and dog canned food and turtle pellets are readily accepted. It is especially important to add calcium, which is essential for building the shell of the snail, such as cuttlebone or a lime preparation. It is recommended to prepare a lime paste by mixing calcium (e.g. crushed cuttlebone) with crushed fruit and curd or yogurt. The food should be offered on several flat, easy-to-clean plastic plates. Drinking water should be offered fresh daily.

A varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

They are hermaphrodites. During mating, they act either as males or females. Self-fertilization is also possible.

The clutch, about 300 eggs, is buried in soft, moist soil. At 28-30 °C air temperature, the young snails hatch after 14-18 days. They grow very slowly.

If you don't want to multiply the snails or control the population you should look for and remove the 7-9 mm large white-yellow eggs in the substrate every week. The sexual maturity they reach only with about 2 years


The coloration and patterning of the shell is highly variable, ranging from light brown to brown to black with longitudinal or zigzag stripes.

If kept too dry, the snails bury themselves in the substrate.

Acidic fruits should only be fed in a controlled manner and the remains removed immediately, as the fruit acid can attack the snail shell.

Stones must not be used for decoration, as the animals, which occasionally fall from the branches, can injure themselves on them and damage their shells.

Once a week, substrate should be loosened and any clutches should be searched for. It is recommended to replace the upper substrate layer once a month.

Good ventilation without drafts is necessary, as well as equipment for measuring temperature and humidity. The lighting has to correspond to the species-appropriate day-night rhythm and has to be installed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves

The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Special attention must be paid to thorough hygiene and impurities must be removed regularly

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Serena Werle; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: HENKEL & SCHMIDT (2010): Taschenatlas Wirbellose für das Terrarium, Verlag Ulmer; ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch