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assassin snails do they use venom


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After reading about the German researcher who was found dead and had some of these snails on him, I am wondering about whether or not we should actually have this species in our tanks?


From what information I have been able to find on them, they seem to be of the same family as the Marine Cone snail.  This species has a proboscis tube that harbors a small type of harpoon that shoots out into the prey animal and injects venom that paralyzes the victim and ultimately liquefies the flesh so that the snail can suck up the mushy food.


If the researcher was struck by one of these tiny harpoon things while picking them up from the creek/river where he was doing his work, he may have been injected with the same type of poison that the cone snail uses.  It might be a different and less virilant type but could be venom non the less and enough pain may have caused him to drop and fall over into the water, where it seems more of them attacked him and eventually ate some of him.


I have had these in my tanks to clean up pond snail overpopulations, and have actually witnessed them attack a shrimp.  The shrimp looked like it was twitching and finally fell over where the snail just crawled up on it and started eating it. 


Now I know these snails are extremely slow movers, as opposed to the faster pond snails/shrimps ( yep how many times have you tried to grab a pond snail and its gone in a flash down the glass where you can't get at it)  If the assassin didn't have a weapon capable of immobilizing its victim, then it stands to reason that the pondies and shrimps would be able to elude the assassin very easily, because they are faster.


Maybe we need a bit more research done on these assassin snails, to find out just what it used to capture its prey and whether or not they pose a real threat to people.  Children picking one off the bottom or glass just to look at them or just moving them without a net? 


What do you think.....any other theories on this?

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