Snails posses both the female and male reproductive cells which is why they are often referred to as hermaphrodites. This means that they do not actually need to mate with another snail in order to reproduce as self fertilizations is possible.
Before their intercourse, both snails approach to start the courtship process consisting of a series of movements from each of them and some attitudes that will finish or not in the mating process. This entire process is said to last anywhere between from as little as 2 hours to as long as 12 hours.
During their courtship process, both snails get closer and they both begin to interact with each other in a more physical way and be able to touch each other with the help of their tentacles. During this process, some snails will move in circles and can bite the area of the genital pore.
Snails mating process is very interesting as each one of them has the ability to create eggs and sperm at the same time during mating, this means that a single snail can play the role of the female in one mating session and the role of the male in another mating session.
Additionally, during their act of mating, snails has the ability to play both roles at the same time and can fertilize each other simultaneously meaning that one snail can be both daddy and mummy to a new baby snail… smiles!
They also shoot each other with “love darts” during mating and those love darts are said to be part of the courtship. However, surprisingly in some cases, it can even kill the mating partner in the process.
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Snails can lay around 80 white eggs in a damp or underground nest about 3-6 days after mating. For this to happen, each snail digs a hole between 2 – 4cm deep in the soil using its foot in order to lay their eggs which will then hatch at around two weeks later.
Meanwhile, the newly-hatched snails have fragile shells during its earlier stages of their life and takes about two year to mature.
What Snails Eat?
Snails eat leaves, vegetables, flowers and most garden crops like: Hosta, Marigolds, Cabbage, Beans, Lettuce and other greens, Dahlia, Delphinium, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Watermelons, etc.
They are also considered omnivorous scavengers as they occasionally consume dead animal matter like worms and other snails.
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