Batman Snail – Detailed Guide: Care, Diet, and Breeding

Batman Snail (Neritina auriculata) – Detailed Guide Care, Diet, and Breeding

Neritina auriculata, commonly known as Batman Nerite snail, will definitely capture the attention of many aquarium enthusiasts due to its unique appearance. However, it is important to note that this species is a rarity in the US and European pet markets.

Batman snail snails are pretty easy to care for. Additionally, they can serve as exceptional cleaners for small aquariums, owing to their dietary preference for algae. As with all Nerite species, these snails also have a voracious appetite.

Unfortunately, information about these snails is extremely scarce and also contains some inaccuracies and misconceptions. That is why I relied on existing research as the foundation of information for this article.

By providing valuable insights, this guide should help aquarists in maintaining and caring for Neritina auriculata in their aquariums.

Quick Notes about Batman Snails

Name Batman snail
Other Names Ear snail
Scientific Name Neritina auriculata
Water type Freshwater/brackish
Tank size (minimum) 5 gallons (~20 liters)
Keeping Easy to medium
Breeding Difficult
Size 0.8 inches (2 cm) in length
Optimal Temperature 72 – 79°F (22 – 26°C)
Optimal PH 7.0 – 8.0 
Optimal GH 12 – 30   
Optimal KH 6 – 16
Nitrate Less than 40 ppm
Diet Algae eater/detritivore
Temperament Peaceful
Life span up to 3 years
Color Form Brownish to olive

Etymology of Neritina Auriculata

The genus name “Neritina” is derived from the Greek word “Nerites,” which refers to a type of sea snail. The name “Neritina” is also commonly used for freshwater snails that are closely related to marine nerites.

Mythology: According to Greek mythology, Nerites was the son of Nereus, the sea god, and Doris, a sea nymph. He was known for his beauty and was a favorite of the sea god Poseidon. At one point, he refused the advances of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Offended by his rejection, she transformed him into a shell as a form of punishment.

The species name “Auriculata” is derived from the Latin word “Auricula,” meaning “Ear-shaped.” It refers to the shell shape of the snail.

Therefore, the name Neritina auriculata can be understood as a reference to a freshwater snail belonging to the genus Neritina, with distinguishing ear-shaped characteristics.

Distribution of Batman Snail

Batman Snail (Neritina auriculata) – Detailed Guide Care, Diet, and Breeding - destributionNeritina auriculata occurs widely in the Indo-Pacific region to eastern Africa. Nowadays, its distribution includes:

Japan (Ishigaki Island), Philippines (Negros Island), Indonesia, New Caledonia, Mauritius, French Polynesia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Moluccas, New Ireland, Australia, Benin (Porto Novo), Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, New Hebrides, Selornon, Tahiti, Hawaii, Singapore, Guam, Palau, and Yap.

Habitat of Batman Snail

In their natural habitat, Neritina auriculata is usually found in freshwater streams and river estuaries (brackish waters) where they are typically associated with areas of dense vegetation and algae-covered surfaces (such as stones).

The limited range results from its salinity tolerance and response to hydraulic stress.

Description of Batman Snail

Batman Snail (Neritina auriculata) – Detailed Guide Care, Diet, and Breeding - profileBatman snails are relatively small in size. Adult individuals typically grow up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in length, 0.6 inches (1.6 cm) in width, and 0.3 inches (0.7 cm) in height.

Distinguishing characteristics of Neritina auriculata:

  • Shape. These snails have a semi-globar shell with a flat base. Their shell has 1-1 1/2 whorls; these spirals have growth lines that form semi-circular patterns.
    The snail’s shell has a wide opening with two “wings” or “auricles” on the upper and lower sides, thus the name “Batman snail”.
  • Aperture. The aperture is large and has a half-moon shape.
  • Operculum. The operculum (trap-door) is semilunar in shape.
  • Color. The shells are typically brownish to olive, with large orange to brown markings. The aperture is yellowish-white and bluish-black around the lip and on the columellar area. Operculum is with reddish horn border. The body of the snail is The foot is relatively large and oval, usually dark brown in color.

Note: According to the study, in Singapore, local shells were not found to have the large extended “wings” or “ears” seen on some specimens from Indonesia and Peninsula Malaysia.

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Lifespan of Batman Snail 

The ecology of this species is poorly researched and much is still unknown about them. Currently, there is no data available on the maximum lifespan for Neritina auriculata in the wild.

However, in aquariums, Batman snails can live at least 2 – 3 years, if appropriately cared for.

Typical Behavior of Batman Snail  

Barman snails are primarily active during the night. They often spend the daytime hiding and resting.

These snails are known to climb on surfaces and explore their surroundings, including plants, rocks, and driftwood. Keep it in mind, especially, if the water level in your aquarium is very high.

Batman Snails are absolutely peaceful in nature. They are only focused on their grazing and exploration activities.

Like most snail species, they are also solitary in their behavior and do not actively seek out the company of other snails. While they may not engage in social interactions, they can coexist peacefully with other tank inhabitants without conflict.

Batman Snails are not natural diggers. They primarily move along surfaces. Although they may unintentionally disturb loose substrate, but this is not what they are doing on purpose.


  • Social: No
  • Active: At night
  • Peaceful: Yes
  • Burrowers: No

Feeding Batman Snail  

These snails are herbivorous and primarily feed on algae.

In aquariums, their diet consists mainly of grazing on various types of algae that grow in the aquarium, including diatoms (brown algae)Green spot algae, Green Dust Algae, biofilm, etc.

Like most scavengers, they also consume decaying plant material and organic debris present in the tank.

They will also appreciate blanched vegetables and algae wafers (check out the price on Amazon). However, keep in mind that because of their small size, it can be better to crush the wafer into dust and spread it around the tank.

Do not forget that calcium plays a huge role in snails. Calcium is needed for several vital life processes in snails, the most obvious being the formation of shells.

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How to Grow Algae Safely

If there are no algae present in your tank, or if the snails have consumed them all, there is another method you can consider.

  1. You need some kind of transparent container (any large bottle, spare tank, etc.).
  2. Fill it with water. Use the water that comes from water changes.
  3. Put there a lot of small rocks like marble chips and ceramic filter media (The rocks should be clean and aquarium safe, of course).
  4. Leave it under the strongest lighting you can find. Ideally – 24/7.
  5. Use any fertilizer to grow plants in a tank.
  6. Using an airstone will boost algae growth as well.
  7. Once you see that rocks are turning green, take a few a place them in the tank to feed the snails.
  8. Return the rocks to the container when they are clean.

Are Batman Snails Plant Safe?

Yes, Batman Snails are safe to keep in planted tanks.

 Even though they primarily feed on algae and decaying plant matter, they usually do not consume healthy, live plants. However, they may nibble on dying plant leaves.

Caring and Keeping Batman Snails

Batman snails are low-maintenance and easy to care for pets.

Nonetheless, these snails need a well-established tank with stable water parameters. So, it is important to add these snails only in a cycled tank. High levels of ammonia and nitrates can be harmful to their health.

Tank size:

Because of their relatively small size, a tank with a capacity of 5 gallons (about 20 liters) is suitable for a small group of Batman Snails.

However, there are several potential problems with small tanks:

  • It can be difficult to keep your water parameters stable.
  • It can be hard for the snails to find enough food and you can have feeding problems.

Note: It is important to consider the climbing behavior of Batman Snails. Use a lid and/or lower the water level.

Water Parameters:

Temperature: Batman snails require warm water in a range of 72 – 79°F (22 – 26°C).
pH: Optimal water pH should be provided for this species in the range of 7.0 – 8.0.
Hardness: They will appreciate hard water KH > 6 and GH > 12.

Brackish or Freshwater:

Although Neritina auriculata is primarily a freshwater species, in nature, these snails are also found in estuarine areas where freshwater and seawater mix.

Does it mean that we can place them anywhere?

No, it does not!

Results of the experiments showed that:

  • when these snails were collected from freshwater habitats were placed in freshwater, they had a survival rate of 100% after 168 hours. However, when these snails were placed in seawater, only 60.9-65 % of them survived after the same duration.
  • when these snails were collected from seawater habitats had a 100% survival rate when placed in seawater and a 69% survival rate when placed in freshwater after 168 hours.

The results indicate that snails collected from their natural habitat (either freshwater or seawater) had lower survival rates when placed not into the same type of water.

Therefore, these snails require long adaptation if anybody wants to keep them in different conditions long-term.

Note: It was also observed that Neritina auriculata collected in seawater were smaller in size.

Water Flow:

Since Batman snails have only been found in the stream and rivers, it appears that they have a preference for running water.

However, these snails do not like very fast flow as well. For example, in the Uufau River, the abundance of Neritina auriculata dropped from 114 individuals in water velocities of 0-2 m/s to 6 individuals in water velocities >6 m/s.


Even though Batman snails can be kept in any tank with any substrate, I would still recommend smooth gravel over any other type.

  • These snails do not burrow. So, there is no need for the soil or sand substrates.
  • Their natural environment is composed of small rocks, gravel, and boulders.
  • The main reason – it is easier to grow algae on them!


There are no special requirements. As long as you have got the filter that works great with the size of the tank you have got you will be fine.


Decorations in an aquarium play a role that goes beyond pleasing us visually.

For the aquarium inhabitants, they serve different functions, specifically providing shelter and serving as a food source.

Therefore, the more decorations you have, the greater the surface area for a food source (such as algae, biofilm, etc.) to grow.

Batman snails are known to cling to rocks, logs, and other submerged objects. So, they will appreciate all types of leaves, rocks, driftwood, PVC pipes, etc. in your tank.

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Breeding Batman Snails

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to breed Neritina auriculata in captivity. All available snails are wild-caught.

Very little is actually known about the life cycle requirements of these snails.

Here is all the information regarding the breeding process I could find in scientific literature.

  1. Batman snails are not hermaphrodites.
  2. Females are fertilized internally.
  3. Females lay eggs on hard surfaces (such as stones, and even the shells of other snails) to lay eggs.
  4. They lay their eggs enclosed in protective capsules. Each capsule contains many eggs.
  5. Neritina auriculata has a diadromous life cycle (that is why these snails are never found in stagnant waters). After hatching, larvae cannot thrive in a freshwater aquarium environment. To ensure their successful development into adult snails, it becomes necessary to transfer the larvae to a brackish water setting. Larvae migrate downstream into the marine environment to complete their larval development.

Batman Snails and Suitable Tankmates

Batman snails are absolutely harmless animals. They can be a fantastic option for any peaceful community tank as long as the tankmates have similar water parameter requirements and won’t harm or harass the snails.

  • Fish

Their tankmates should include other calm and peaceful fish such as:

Shrimp species that prefer slightly alkaline water will be the best choice to keep with Batman snails. For example, Vampire shrimpBamboo ShrimpAmano ShrimpGhost shrimpCherry shrimpBlue tiger shrimpSnowball shrimpCaridina cf. babaultiBlue Velvet ShrimpMalawa Shrimpetc.

  • Snails

Any type of freshwater snails will be good tank mates, except Assassin snails. Assassin snails will easily overpower and eat Barman snails.


Also, keep these snails away from all types of Crayfish (even Dwarf Mexican crayfish), most types of freshwater crabs, and even some types of predatory shrimp such as Macrobrachium family (such as Red Claw Shrimp, Whisker shrimp, etc.).

All of them can be very aggressive toward the snails. 

African dwarf frogs will not be good tankmates for small Batman snails. There is a chance that they will try to swallow them.

In Conclusion

With their interesting appearance, Batman snails will definitely be an attractive addition to any freshwater and brackish aquarium.

These snails are scavengers and voracious algae eaters.

As for keeping them in the tank, this is a simple species to care for. Even beginners will be able to keep them since they are quite undemanding.


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  2. Liu, H-T. Tina, and V. H. Resh. “Abundance and microdistribution of freshwater gastropods in three streams of Moorea, French Polynesia.” In Annales de Limnologie-International Journal of Limnology, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 235-244. EDP Sciences, 1997.
  3. POINTIER, Jean Pierre, and Gerard MARQUET. “Taxonomy and distribution of freshwater mollusks of French Polynesia.” Venus (Japanese Journal of Malacology)49, no. 3 (1990): 215-231.
  4. Tan, Siong Kiat, and Reuben Clements. “Taxonomy and distribution of the Neritidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda) in Singapore.” Zoological studies47, no. 4 (2008): 481-494.
  5. Takada, Yoshitake. “Seasonal growth fluctuations of four species of neritid gastropods in an upper mangrove estuary, Ishigaki Island, Japan.” Pacific Science70, no. 4 (2016): 463-476.
  6. Rao, NV Subba, A. K. Das, and S. C. Mitra. “On freshwater molluscs of Andaman and Nicobar islands.” Records of the Zoological Survey of India77, no. 1-4 (1979): 215-245.
  7. Kerr, Alexander M. “Annotated checklist of the aquatic snails of the Mariana Islands, Micronesia.” University of Guam Marine Laboratory Technical Report147 (2013): 26p.
  9. Capdevielle, Jillian. “Neritid Gastropods Adapted to Different pH Environments: Spatial, temporal, and abiotic factors affecting life history traits of marine and freshwater snails.” (2013).
  10. Starmuhlner, F. “Results of the Austrian-Ceylonese hydrobiological mission 1970 of the 1st Zoological Institute University of Vienna (Austria) and the Department of Zoology of the University of Ceylon, Vidyalankara Campus, Kelaniya (Sri Lanka). Pt 17. The freshwater gastropods of Ceylon.” (1974).

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