“What’s going on?” Jon will often ask as I sit in front of the fish tank, watching, before going to bed.
Sometimes there’s something exciting to report, Socrates, my Mystery Snail is floating to the bottom of the tank, stopping briefly on one leaf or another on the way. Sometimes, there’s less activity. “Oh you know”, I’ll say, “the fish are swimming the snails are sleeping and eating.”
But just a few nights ago there was big news from the fish tank as my Rabbit Snail seemed to be getting ready for Halloween. I got the story in pictures.
We have three Bamboo Shrimp in our fish tank. They’re about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, so they’re pretty big for shrimp and one of the biggest animals in our tank. I put up a video a while ago of how they pull algae out of the water by opening up their conical “hands” and sucking it in.
Bamboo Shrimp shed their skin like a snake or a cicada. For the first time, I saw one of their abandoned skins resting on the bottom of the tank.
Then I noticed that there were a few tiny Rams Horn snails munching on the skin. (you can see them in the photo above one between the Rabbit Snail shell and the Bamboo Shrimp skin.)
Soon, my other Rabbit Snail, Hazel-Ra, came along and started eating the skin too. I watched as it crumpled the Bamboo Shrimp skin in its mouth. I continued to watch as the Hazel-Ra started wiggling her way (turns out Hazel Ra is a female there are a few baby rabbit snails to prove it) into the shed skin of the Bamboo Shrimp.
Soon her head was all the way in the skin, up to the tail. And as she moved, no doubt continuing to eat the skin, the tail moved around as if it were alive.
Being so close to Halloween, I couldn’t help think that she was trying on her Shrimp costume.
Then as if my Trapdoor Snail Medusa wanted to be a part of it all and create the perfect ending, I watched as she slowly (they move pretty slow even for a snail) climbed over Hazel-Ra in her snail costume, at times completely covering her, then going on her way.
You can see Hazel-Ra moving the Bamboo Shrimp tail around in the video as Medusa exits the scene.