Growing and Breeding
In 2012 I started out with 13 baby yellow posos, and rapidly added to the population with orange posos, golden-spotted, yellow-spotted, and white-spotted rabbits.
As of 2016, I have over 150 rabbits, the vast number from births.
Rabbit snails are of breeding age and size when they approach 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). This may take close to a year for them to attain this size, depending upon quality of care and their particular growth rates. I have some snails that have grown slowly, and some that have grown amazingly fast.
They are dioecious (male and female) and sexually monomorphic, male and female are identical. They are also oviparous, the female carries a fertilized egg within her until it is released every 4 to 6 weeks or so, when a fully-formed snail infant is released within a small, gelatinous “egg” sac. The gestation period varies according to the species of Tylomelania. Females are also capable of carrying sperm long term, releasing the single (and occasional twin) offspring over the course of many, many weeks. The egg sac is soft, a nutrient rich covering that encases the youngster through gestation. The birthing of the egg sac has been documented in German observations to take as little as 5 minutes. I have personally observed the baby working at emerging from the sac, this particular case taking 2 hours for the baby to emerge.
Depending upon the species, the babies can be anywhere from .125 inches (3.2mm) to .25 inches (6.35mm) in size, fully formed miniatures of their parents. These infants immediately set out to crawl, climb, and explore their environment, making their first meal of the bioslime on the walls of the tank, or the decor. I find it sensible to allow the aquarium walls to not be scrubbed or wiped clean so that there is a rich layer of microbes more suitable for infants’ digestive systems that begin functioning in the adult world.
Rabbit snails are also capable of hybridization. I have several I have to consider are hybrids, as they resemble none of the other snails. some discussion on the German forums in 2008 or so also mentioned the possibility of hybrids within their populations.
In order to have a chance at successful breeding, you need to have at least 3 snails, and more will increase your odds of obtaining a male and female and having offspring.
Additionally, I've observed that a water change will spur some eggs and babies. Eggs and babies are known to appear after shipments, I have had babies appear after our travel arrivals, and others report them after shipments.
Left - egg sac with infant inside, center - a baby still "en caul", right - a baby yellow-spotted piggy-backing an adult yellow-spotted.
Photos copyright Sarah Elmassian, photo of numerous adults with babies courtesy of Gemma Woods.
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Photo courtesy of Gemma Woods