Amazing Mollusks: Images of Strange & Slimy Snails

Beautiful Bubbles

Two bubble-rafting snails.

(Image credit: Denis Riek)

Two female bubble-rafting violet snails, Janthina exigua. This is the most common species of bubble-rafting snail.

Violet Rafting Snail

A violet bubble-rafting snail on water.

(Image credit: Denis Riek)

Janthina janthina, a bubble-rafting violet snail. The snail excretes mucus from its foot and uses the raft of bubbles to float from place to place.

Bubble-Rafting Snail On Shore

Violet bubble-rafting snail washed up on beach.

(Image credit: Public domain)

This violet bubble-rafting snail washed up on Maui, Hawaii.

Brown Bubble-Rafting Snail

A rare bubble-rafting snail with mucus bubbles.

(Image credit: Denis Riek)

A rare bubble-rafting brown janthina snail, Recluzia cf. jehennei. These snails live their lives upside-down, floating on a raft of mucus bubbles. Researchers believe the bubble rafts evolved from floating egg masses.

Ram's Horn Snails

Ram's Horn Snails can be dangerous to catfish.

(Image credit: Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service)

Two ram's horn snails, Planorbella trivolvis, hang out on underwater vegetation. The snails carry parasitic nematodes that infect catfish.

Pearly Shell

Oregon megomphix snail lives in the Pacific northwest.

(Image credit: Bureau of Land Management, Oregon)

The Oregon megomphix has a translucent shell and equally pearly body. This snail lives in the mixed forests of Washington and Oregon.

Monster Snails

Giant African land snails embrace.

(Image credit: pdtnc,)

The east African land snail is one of the largest snail species on Earth. These African snails are a threat to agriculture and a potential invasive species in the United States. They're sometimes illegally kept as pets.

Snail Eggs

Snails lay eggs on vegetation.

(Image credit: Gary Stolz, US Fish and Wildlife Service)

It's a girl! (And a boy, actually, since snails are hermaphrodites with both male and female reproductive systems.) These pink pearls are apple snail eggs found in Florida's Everglades National Park.

Sea Snails

Wentletrap snails carry egg masses.

(Image credit: Nick Hobgood)

Wentletrap snails feed on coral and anemones at the bottom of the sea. These mollusks carry their eggs with them, seen here as yellow masses.

Janthina Snail

A violet bubble-rafting snail in Barbados.

(Image credit: Scott T Slattery | Shutterstock)

A janthina snail with its mucus-bubble raft washed up onshore in Barbados.

Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.