Marisa, like other apple snails, is a big eater. In an aquarium one must therefore pay attention. In a well-planted aquarium, one or two specimens can live without causing too much damage, yet certain plants can be completely eaten. These snails are not very selective in their food. To keep these snails healthy, you can feed all kinds of vegetables with fish food. When a fish dies, it is also considered food. Live fish are left alone. During the day, marisa is not very active and usually stays under stones or between the plants. Only after dark does Marisa start looking for food. The temperature of the water should be between 18 and 28 ° C. At a lower temperature, marisa hibernates.
When mating, the male approaches the female from behind and crawls on her house. Then he quickly inserts his penis into her. Mating can take a long time and is sometimes interrupted for a moment. Marisa puts her eggs under water. The female can lay eggs every 3 to 5 days for several weeks. The eggs need a temperature of 18 to 28 ° C and must remain under water or they will dry out.
The young snails hatch after 2 to 4 weeks. Most do not survive the first weeks, but the others grow quickly. When they are about 2.5 cm in size, they in turn can provide offspring. Marisa can grow up to 5.7 cm.
Marisa cornuarietis is a tropical freshwater snail native to Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica and Honduras. The aquarium trade has allowed this snail to expand its range. This species has also been used to combat aquatic plants, so that it now also occurs in Florida. However, the temperature should not drop below 8 ° C otherwise this snail cannot survive. I have not yet come across a Dutch name for this snail. English names are: Giant ramshorn, Colombian ramshorn, Columbian snail and goldenhorn marisa.
It is not known exactly when this snail arrived in Florida. In February 1958, Marisa was common in an 8 km section of the canal in the middle of the city of Miami. Later that year, Marisa was also found a lot upstream. In July of that year, many animals of all ages were found 1 mile downstream. Since that year, this snail has expanded its distribution area to just about all channels near Miami except heavily polluted areas. The first snails were found in the Everglades in 1971. The reason for their rapid spread is that snails can drift with wood or leaves floating downstream.
Marisa is sold for aquariums but eats almost all plants. The first animals were probably released by people who preferred not to keep these snails in their aquarium. It was also suggested to use these snails as weed killer plants such as the water hyacinth. Studies have shown that marisa eats the roots of these plants, which slows growth. Elsewhere in the southern U.S. and Puerto Rico, marisa was used against some other plants. It was forgotten that this snail also eats rice and other plants that are used by humans. Marisa is eaten in Puerto Rico by the locals.
Not only plants, but also other snails are used for lunch by marisa. Marisa is also used to control other snail populations that can transmit diseases to humans. Marisa herself is not a carrier of diseases that are transmissible to humans.