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27 Animals that Eat Snails (A to Z List & Pictures)

snail

Examples of animals that eat snails include badgers, blackbirds, turtles, crows, and foxes.

Snails are a delicacy that has been eaten for centuries. Today, they are commonly served in France and Italy. It is no surprise then, that many animals have developed a taste for snails.

They don’t have any natural predators, they can travel up to 25 meters per day, and they’re edible.

Snails are also the perfect food for some animals that don’t typically eat meat.

Examples of Animals that Eat Snails

1. Badgers

badger
Scientific NameMeles meles
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeGreat Plains region of North America
DietOmnivore

Badgers eat snails.

Snails are molluscs, which means that they have soft bodies and no bones. They also produce slime to avoid predators like badgers.

Badgers dig holes in the ground called setts for their families of up to 13 members. The female gives birth there every spring, usually to four or five babies at a time.

Badgers are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plants. They mostly eat insects, earthworms, fruits, and vegetables, but they will also prey on small mammals like rabbits and birds. Snails make up a very small part of their diet.

2. Blackbirds

blackbird
Scientific NameTurdus merula
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope, North Africa, India, and southern China
DietOmnivore

Blackbirds are destructive of snails. Some examples include the blackbird, redwinged blackbird and song thrush which have all been known to eat or feed on land-dwelling mollusks, especially slugs.

Snail shells are crushed between their strong beaks then they extract the soft body.

The birds often hunt snails by probing the ground with their beaks until they locate a snail hiding under leaves or in the soil.

3. Blindworms

Blindworm
Scientific NameAnguis fragilis
Type of AnimalAnnelids
Rangewestern Europe
DietCarnivore

Blindworms, are some of the animals that eat snails. Snails provide these animals with a great source of protein and minerals.

Blindworms in particular consume large numbers of snails, which helps to keep snail populations under control.

By eating snails, these animals help to maintain balance within their ecosystems.

4. Box Turtle

box turtle
Scientific NameTerrapene
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeUnited States
DietOmnivore

The box turtle is a land-dwelling creature that feeds mainly on snails and other small invertebrates.

They have a hard shell that helps protect them from predators, and they can live for up to 100 years. Box turtles are found in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada.

5. Centipedes

Centipede
Scientific NameChilopoda
Type of AnimalChilopoda
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Centipedes are carnivores that eat other animals in order to survive. These creatures have a long body, typically up to 12 inches which has many segments and move very fast by using one pair of legs for each segment.

The head is equipped with powerful fangs that inject venom into the prey’s body causing paralysis and death within minutes (because their digestive systems are very acidic).

Centipedes generally eat insects, but they have also been know to feast on earthworms, lizards, and other small animals.

6. Crows

crow
Scientific NameCorvus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Crows,for example, are very good at spotting snails. In fact they will spot them from up to 40 feet away.

In the tropical rainforest there is a bird called the Bananaquit that eats insects and fruit but also loves to eat land snails.

They usually find their prey by pecking around leaf litter on the floor of the forest.

7. Fireflies

fireflies
Scientific NameLampyridae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Fireflies eat snails, which is a good thing because they help control the snails’ population.

8. Foxes

Kit Fox
Scientific NameVulpes
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Fox eat snails and other invertebrates.

9. Frogs

Green Frog
Scientific NameAnura
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Frogs are known to be one of the most common animals that eat snails. They are also able to use their sticky tongues for other things, such as catching flies or even pulling out snail shells from a plant.

10. Ground Beetles

Ground Beetle
Scientific NameCarabidae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Ground beetles are predators that eat snails and other small invertebrates. They are often found near water where they can easily catch their prey.

Ground beetles come in many different colors, but most of them are black or brown. These insects have a hard exoskeleton that helps protect them from predators.

Ground beetles are beneficial to gardeners because they help keep other pests under control.

11. Harvestmen

Harvestman
Scientific NameOpiliones
Type of AnimalArachnid
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Harvestmen are not true spiders, but they are arachnids. They have eight legs like a spider, but their body is different. Harvestmen eat mostly snails and insects.

12. Hedgehogs

hedgehog
Scientific NameErinaceinae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeEurope, Asia, Africa and New Zealand
DietOmnivore

Hedgehogs are generally known for their ability to catch and devour a wide range of prey, including earthworms, insects such as beetles and caterpillars ,and even baby birds.

The common or European hedgehog is often found in gardens where there is an abundance of snails.

13. Hornflies

hornfly
Scientific NameMuscidae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeEurope, Asia, and the non-tropical regions of Africa
DietOmnivore

Hornflies are a type of fly that feeds on the blood of cattle, horses, and other mammals. They are attracted to moist areas around the eyes and mouth.

Hornflies can be controlled with insecticides, but they can also be eaten by certain animals. Birds such as swallows and blackbirds eat hornflies, as do some lizards, frogs, and toads.

14. Leopard Slugs

Leopard Slug
Scientific NameLimax maximus
Type of AnimalGastropods
Rangethe south and east of Australia
DietCarnivore

Leopard Slugs are one of the most common animals that eat snails. They are large slugs that have a brown and black spotted pattern on their body. They can be found in gardens and woodlands throughout the United States.

15. Lizards

Armadillo Girdled Lizard
Scientific NameLacertilia
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

There are many different types of lizards that eat snails. Some of the most common include the anole, the gecko, and the iguana.

These lizards have specially adapted mouths that allow them to pry open snail shells and extract the soft body inside. They usually do not eat the shell itself.

16. Mice

Dormouse
Scientific NameMus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Mice are one of the animals that eat snails. They are able to consume them because they have sharp teeth that can pierce the shells of snails.

Mice usually eat the snail’s meat, but they will also consume the snail’s shell if there is no other food available.

Snail shells provide important nutrients for mice, such as calcium and phosphorus. Mice that consume snail shells are typically healthier than mice that do not consume them.

Snail shells also help protect the mice from predators.

17. Moles

mole
Scientific NameTalpidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Moles consume large quantities of earthworms and snails. They locate their prey by feeling the vibrations that they create as they move underground.

18. Newts

newt
Scientific NamePleurodelinae
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeNorth America, Europe, Asia and north Africa
DietCarnivore

They have long, slimy bodies and a flattened head that is well adapted to eating slugs, snails and even other newts.

They hunt in the water during the day but they usually live on land in damp woodlands near ponds or rivers. The smooth skin of their backs helps them swim through the water.

On land, their skin secretes a sticky slime to help them climb up vertical surfaces or cling on rocks so they don’t fall into the water.

19. Opossums

Virginia Opossum
Scientific NameDidelphidae
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe United States, Mexico, Central America, South America and Canada
DietOmnivore

The opossum is a small, grayish-white North American marsupial. Opossums are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of things, including fruits, vegetables, insects, carrion, and snails.

One study found that opossums consume an average of 23 snails per day. This may not seem like a lot, but it can add up over time.

Opossums are an important part of the ecosystem and help keep snail populations in check.

20. Rats

Brown Rat
Scientific NameRattus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

There are many different types of snails out there though so it is important for people with pet rats or other pets to know which ones they can feed their creatures if they want them to avoid snail poisoning.

21. Roman Snails

Roman Snail
Scientific NameHelix pomatia
Type of AnimalGastropods
Rangesoutheast, west, east, north, and south of Europe
DietHerbivore

Roman Snails are known to be tough because they can withstand very cold temperatures. The shell of a Roman Snail is brown and the snail itself varies between shades of dark purple, pink or blue with white spots around its body.

22. Salamanders

salamander
Scientific NameUrodela
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeNorth America, South America, Europe, Asia and Central America
DietCarnivore

Salamanders are small lizards that live on land. Some salamanders will eat anything they come across while others only eat certain things like fruit or leaves.

One type of salamander called a red spotted newt prefers to hunt for its food by night so it can easily avoid predators.

These little amphibians will eat any type of snail they can find, including the invasive apple snails that have been causing problems in many parts of the world.

23. Shrews

Shrew
Scientific NameSoricidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America
DietCarnivore

Shrews are a type of mammal in the family Soricidae. Shrews are small, with many different species that vary greatly in size from between 17mm and 38cm long.

They have slender bodies with very sharp teeth, but unlike rodents they do not have elongated incisors.

Their tails range from one to five centimeters long and is always covered in black hair. These mammals are insectivores and their diet consists of a variety of different insects, including snails.

24. Snakes

corn snake
Scientific NameSerpentes
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Snakes are one of the primary predators of snails. There are many different species of snakes that eat snails, including the king cobra, the black mamba, and the bushmaster.

25. Songbirds

Songbird
Scientific NamePasseri
Type of AnimalBird
RangeUnited States
DietOmnivore

Songbirds mainly consume the soft parts of the snail such as the body and tentacles. They also eat the eggs of snails. Some songbird species that prey on snails are the American robin, dark-eyed junco, and white-throated sparrow.

26. Toads

toad
Scientific NameBufonidae
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Some people believe that the toxins in a snail’s slime can be poisonous to these predators, but there is little scientific evidence to support this claim.

Toads in particular seem to love eating snails and will go out of their way to track them down.

27. Wild Turkeys

wild turkey
Scientific NameMeleagris gallopavo
Type of AnimalBird
RangeUnited States
DietOmnivore

Snails are a popular target for animals that eat snails. Wild turkeys love to feast on wildflowers, slugs and smaller insect species as well as mice or other small rodents – but they will also go after larger prey items such as this too.

In fact, their main staple is acorns from oak trees which provide both protein and fat, but when these are scarce, turkeys will scavenge for other food sources. This includes snails.

Conclusion

Snails are toward the bottom of the food chain. They’re a slow, easy target for many small mammals, reptiles, and birds. While they have a hard shell to help protect them from predators, many with long beaks and claws can get around the defenses to get their daily meal!

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