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Animals That Eat Pond Snails

Angela Tague

Whether you consider them an intriguing addition or a common nuisance, snails populate freshwater and brackish ponds. Many creatures living in the pond, and those that depend on the water source at feeding time, add pond snails to their diet. Fish, mammals, amphibians and reptiles will eat protein-rich snails and snail eggs.

Fish as Predators

Ducks feed on pond snails.

If you need to control an over population of snails in your pond, adding certain species of fish can help minimize the problem. Redear Sunfish will readily eat pond snails, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Common carp, koi and large goldfish will also feed on pond snails, especially newly hatched snails with soft shells. Yellow perch, channel catfish, yellow bullhead and Eastern mosquito fish also prey on pond snails.

Snail-eating Animals

Occasional pond visitors can cause the snail population in your backyard pond to dwindle. Watch for raccoons, bald eagles and muskrats, all of which eat snails. Other animals that prey upon snails include ducks, mallards, American eels, cormorants, cranes and water-dwelling bird species.

Reptiles and Snails

Some reptiles will include snails in their diets. Eastern painted turtles, American alligators, Chinese alligators, Yacare caimans and Morelet's crocodiles that live in ponds also hunt for snails to add variety to their protein-rich diets.

Amphibians and Insects

Small snails and the jelly-like sacks of snail eggs attached to foliage in and around the water's edge provide nutrition for frogs, salamanders, Eastern newts, tadpoles and leeches. Even small creatures such as dragonflies, beetles and other pond insects dine on snail eggs attached to floating pond moss, lily pads and driftwood.