Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Alby the Color-Changing Ramshorn Snail

This is my latest arrival, Alby the ramshorn snail. I am not sure that he is actually a genetic albino, but he does have a translucent shell and a foot without red or pink color. Presumably this means he does not have normal haemoglobin which makes it surprising that he has grown to adult size. I hope he settles in well.

Alby arose spontaneously in a population of red ramshorns. The picture below was provided by the gotglock at Aquaria Central.

If you have an albino ramshorn or know someone who does, please drop me a line at psycheskinner at and I will add them to this page. I am especially interested to know if anyone has successfully bred them.

See also:
Colombian Ramshorn Snails (includes a picture of an albino common ramshorn)

After a few days Alby started to develop a much pinker body color, to the extent that I thought he might transform into a normal "pink" ramshorn, This was quite a surprise as research has shown that pink ramshorn snails do not change their haemoglobin levels in response to water oxygen levels.

Coloring can change between generations with newly hatched snails in poorly-oxygenated water having a bright red color. But individuals seem to be born with a level of coloration that stay with them throughout life. Other than Alby, that is.

Alby has returned the his original yellow coloration. Weird.


gotglock said...

Glad you like him :) He looks like he is adjusting well.

ConnieFoggles said...

The shell is so pretty.

Karen said...

Wow! that picture is beautiful.

Barbara Rae said...

I love the pics equally, as much as the quality information...Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I reliaze that this is forever late, but I am just starting my 30g aquarium and had some sudden snail pets unexpectedly appear in a tank of fake plants. I was very confused. However all 3 of the ramshorn snails I've got are albino. Though they are only a week old, so who knows if they'll stay that way?

Psyche Skinner said...

They can change color a fair bit until they get to about small pea size. Do you have a picture?