A Tayside pet owner has been left shell-shocked after her Giant African Land Snails hatched more than 100 offspring in a month.
Sophie Morris, 22, believes she could have up to 150 of the creatures and is offering them to good homes for free as more continue to hatch at her apartment in Crieff.
Before the baby boom, Sophie was the owner of three adult Giant African Land Snails and one four month old gastropod.
She has kept them as pets for nearly a decade and says the snails, which are hermaphrodites, do not often breed.
However this year alone her three adults have laid four batches of eggs. The first two didn’t produce any babies but two further sets this month have seen scores of the little creatures take life.
“They aren’t meant to lay many batches of eggs in a year and I’ve already had four so I’m quite surprised,” she said.
“From the first batch that hatched about a month ago I have about 50 left and I haven’t even counted the second batch yet,” said Sophie.
The snail enthusiast is now looking for homes for the little ones, whose shell size will eventually grow to around 15 centimetres. She said they make great pets and can live for around 10 years.
She has already been able to rehome around 10 of the older babies but knows there are dozens more to come.
She said: “They’re really easy to look after and they’re really friendly creatures.
“They can’t bite you or anything and they’ll crawl up all over your arm.
“They love cucumber but it’s not very nutritional for them so there needs to be a mix of vegetables.”
Other delicacies the snails love include cuttlefish bone, ground-up oyster shell and beer.
“They like it when you serve them a beer every now and again but you can’t give them too much or they will get drunk,” said Sophie.
People who are interested in taking on a snail will also need to be able to provide them with a tank, some soil and moss.
Sophie, who got her first Giant African Land Snail when she was 12 after seeing them on a trip to Skye said the creatures could make great educational classroom pets for schools.
Anyone wishing to give one of the baby gastropods a home can contact Sophie through her Facebook group Crieff G.A.L.S.