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Margarita Snail

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Species group:

Other common names: Little Margarite, Pearl Snail, Pearly-topped Snail, Stomatella Limpet Snail

Scientific name: Margarites pupillus

The basics:
The Margarita Snail is a hardy, ravenous consumer of marine algae, but prefers cooler temperatures than are suitable for most reef creatures.

The Margarita Snail is found in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, from Alaska to California. In favors rocky habitats and cool water.

Appearance / health:
The smooth, turban-shaped shell is gray to dark brown in color and reaches 2.5-5 cm (1-2 in) in length.

Although very hardy when given proper care, the Margarita Snail is sensitive to ammonia, nitrates, copper-based medications, changes in pH, and sustained temperatures above 23.8 C (75 F).

Behavior / temperament:
The Margarita Snail is active at night, at which time in prowls the aquarium in search of algae. It is harmless to other marine animals.

Housing:
Margarita Snails do best in well-filtered aquariums housing temperate zone creatures. They can adjust to warm temperatures for a time, but do not thrive in typical reef aquariums.

The following water quality parameters should be maintained in order to assure long-term health: Temperature: 10-20 C (50-68 F); Specific Gravity (salinity):1.023-1.025; pH: 8.0-8.4; Alkalinity 8-12 dKH; Calcium: 350-450 ppm.

Diet:
In addition to live hair and other marine algae, Margarita Snails should be offered dry seaweed and algae tablets/flakes. Calcium supplements and trace elements are essential for proper shell development.

Breeding:
Larval Margarita Snails are planktonic; reproduction has not been recorded in home aquariums.

Written by Frank Indiviglio

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