The Lava Snail is a colour variant of the well-known Black Devil Spike Snail whereby the snail’s body has tinges of yellow, red or orange. The colour and its intensity varies from snail to snail and it is impossible to show all of them here. They are the same species, Faunus ater, with an attractive colour variance. They are an extremely hardy species that is also a very effective algae eater! It is also known as Lava Snail or Faunus ater, these dark and mysterious snails are highly underrated members of the aquarium hobby.
They grow to a large size and feature gorgeous, glossy shells that range in color from chocolate brown to the deepest black. They mainly come from the brackish waters of Thailand, but can also be found in other parts of Asia. They can thrive in freshwater, but will only breed in brackish water.
These snails are relatives to the popular Malaysian Trumpet Snails, but they are more similar in shape and size to Giant Sulawesi Snails. They feature the long, whorled shells, but theirs tapers off into a sharper point and resembles a spike.
A Lava Snail’s shell color ranges from a rich chocolate brown to a beautiful, glossy black, and its body features gray/black or chestnut brown colors with touches of red, orange or yellow. They are usually 2 to 3 inches in length when full grown. Since they can grow this large, they need room to move, so it’s a good idea to avoid dense vegetation or overcrowding in your aquarium.
Lava Snails are more hardy and more active than Giant Sulawesi Snails, having the ability to move faster throughout the aquarium. They are also able to live in colder temperatures and are known as excellent cleaners of substrate. If you have live plants in your tank, it’s a good idea to keep them out of reach of these snails; they have been known to nibble on live plants. These are totally peaceful aquarium inhabitants and are safe to keep with shrimp and other snails.