Re: NANFA-- [Fwd: BOUNCE Message too long (>24000 chars)]

R. W. Wolff (
Sun, 18 Jun 2000 11:59:43 -0700

Bowfin eat large hard shell snails.
Two species of snail here that are big and have very hard shells are aten by
my small bowfin in there aquarium. These fish are7-9 inches long. The two
snails are what I call a giant pond snail ( looks like a pond snail,but
reaches lengths of 2 inches, and the shell is not crushable without a
hammer) and the japanese livebearing pond snail, which I have seen as large
as tennis balls. The giant pond snail is sucked out of the shell. I don't
really know how they get the live bearer out , since it has a trap door that
shuts tight. My guess is they ambush them while they are out, and pull them
from the shell. Odds are the large bowfin with there powerful jaws ( try
removing a hook from ones mouth) could crush these snails. Another good
reason this fish should be revered, rather than destroyed.
Bullhead are good snail eater, but the large ones I catch here ( 2+
pounds) usually have only small snails in there gut. I don't put it past
them to suck the larger species from there shells as bowfin do, they have
powerful jaws as well. You cannot "lip lock" a bullhead like a cat, unless
you want your thumb seriously pinched.
I guess though that these fish can not keep up with snail populations, as
the snail base here in the marsh is tremendous, and both bowfins and the
three largest species of bullheads are very common. It may be possible that
these forgein ivaders could not keep up with the snails either, and would
just be adding fuel to the fire of problems.

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