Do Turtles Eat Snails?

do turtles eat snails

Turtles prefer live foods. You need to give your turtle foods which they prefer the most. Turtles are mostly omnivorous, and as we know how much turtles like to have live food, we owe them that.

The wild turtles do not have any alternative, so they eat whatever is available to them. From vegetables and fruits to insects, turtles get everything in the wild. On the other hand, pet turtles are dependent on their owner for food and other needs. So it’s your responsibility to give them the food they like.

Turtles like it when they are provided with live food. The movement of live insects attracts them, and they enjoy eating them. Let us learn more about which live food they love the most.

Related Article: Can Turtles Eat Fish Food?

Do turtles eat snails?

Yes, turtles eat snails. Turtles like to hunt for snails, worms, beetles, grubs, caterpillars, bugs, etc.

Snails are one of their natural diets. Whenever they find them moving around, they love to grab them. They find snails to be very delicious. However, snails should not be a part of their regular diet. For example, two snails should be provided to them in ten days for their good health. If snails are given to them abundantly, it can cause pyramiding in them.

The most common snails that the turtles eat are Garden snails, Pond snails, Mystery snails, Nerite snails, Apple snails, and Bladder snails.

Do baby turtles eat snails?

Yes, like adult turtles, baby turtles eat snails too. Baby turtles love protein intake, and they can easily chase down a snail if they find them. 

Since baby turtles have a smaller body size, you cannot expect them to eat bigger snails. Baby turtles hunt for smaller or moderate size snails. If you are a turtle owner, you can give your baby turtle a smaller size snail as it consists of good protein supplements that are excellent for the baby turtle’s health.

Baby turtles struggle to chew the snail’s shell, so they prefer eating the edible part of the snail and expelling the shell.

Are snails harmful to the turtles?

It is believed that snails are involuntary hosts of parasites and pathogens. There is a possibility that adding snails to your turtle’s diet exposes them to parasites.

Wild snails can carry lung fluke and other parasites that could cause health risks for your turtle. If you want to feed snails to your turtles, make sure you purchase them from a reliable pet store.

It is safe for turtles to eat garden snails unless they are exposed to pesticides or snail bait. If you purchase the garden snails for your turtle, ensure to do so from a reliable seller.

We recommend using Zoo Med Can O’ Snails. These are specially packed for turtles and all snails come without shells so it won’t hurt your turtle. You can check more about it from the link given below.

Zoo Med Can O’ Snails Turtle Food

Can snails and turtles live together in the same tank?

The probability of snails and turtles living in the same tank depends on the turtle’s behavior and feeding regimen.

Turtles like eating snails, and if they find the snail in the same tank, they might think of the snail as a portion of food and gulp it instantly. But if you have an aging turtle in the tank, the scenario can be quite different. As the turtle ages, the carnivorous cravings of the turtle reduce as it switches from animal protein to a plant-based diet. In that case, the possibility of the snail being eaten by a turtle is less.

There are other factors, like if you provide hiding places in the tank for the snail, then the chances of survival of the snail are more.

Related Article: Can Turtles And Fish Live Together?

Which snails can survive in a turtle tank?

Some snails can survive longer if you keep them in the turtle tank like:

1. The Malaysian Trumpet snail 

This snail is a hermaphrodite and can multiply faster in your turtle tank. It can survive on dead fish and plant materials. This type of snail can survive longer in the turtle tank, provided there are enough hiding spaces in your turtle tank.

2. The Apple Snail

The apple snail has a distinctive look, and the color spectrum ranges from yellow to black. They can grow up to 6 inches wide. If you keep the temperature in the turtle tank more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, then the reproduction activity of the snail’s increases leading to overpopulation of snails in the tank. Unless of illness or snail being eaten by the turtle, it can survive for two to five years if you take proper care of it.

You can vacuum the tank frequently to keep it clean. The leftover food of the snail and turtle can spike the ammonia content in water, making it toxic for the turtle and snail. You can read our article on how often you need to clean the turtle tank here:

Are snails good for turtles?

Yes, snails are good for turtles. Snails consist of proteins and other nutrients like calcium, potassium, and vitamin A which are beneficial for the turtles. 

However, the overfeeding of snails in turtles can lead to pyramiding. Make sure you do not overfeed your turtle. Calcium and potassium contained in the snails are very good for turtle growth. Hence, it’s a good idea to occasionally feed your turtle with snails to keep them healthy.

Does a Red-eared slider turtle eat snails?

Yes, Red-eared sliders love to eat snails. In the wild Red-eared slider turtles catch and eat snails, shrimp, silkworms, krill, etc. If you put a few snails in their tank, they will gulp it all together.

Red-eared slider turtles prefer to eat aquatic snails. While eating the snails, the red-eared slider turtle crushes the snail’s shells. Being omnivorous turtles, they prefer to eat live food and vegetables, so make sure you balance their diet and don’t only provide them snails just because you think they like it. Red-eared sliders love aquatic snails like apple snail, ramshorn snail, Malaysian trumpet snail, etc.

Which turtles can eat snails?

The turtles which can eat snails are Box turtles, Red-eared slider turtles, Painted turtles, Mud turtles, Snapping turtles, wood turtles, African side neck turtles, Yellow-bellied turtles, Green turtle hatchlings, Musk turtles, etc.

What does the snail eat in the turtle tank?

The snail eats the plant material, algae, or the turtle’s leftovers in the turtle tank to survive. You can also give them algae wafers available in the pet stores, or the snail eats the naturally developed algae in the tank.

If the food is untouched by the snail for a longer period, you can understand that the snail is overfed. Feeding the snail two times a day is good for their health. You can gradually increase or decrease the quantity based on their consumption rate.


Most turtles are omnivorous and eat vegetables, fruits, and live food. They like to eat live food like snails, worms, beetles, grubs, caterpillars, bugs, etc. They love to eat snails, but they should not be overfed with it as it can lead to pyramiding. Snails consist of protein and essential nutrients like Vitamin A, calcium, and potassium, which are beneficial for the turtles. However, you need to ensure that they are not exposed to parasites or snail bait. Turtles and snails can live together in the same tank provided there are enough hiding spots in the tank, and it also depends on the turtle’s behavior.