Snails are hermaphrodites. Although they have both male and female reproductive organs, they must mate with another snail of the same species before they lay eggs. Some snails can act as males one season and as females – the next.
Other snails play both roles at once and impregnate each other at the same time. When the snail is large enough and sexually mature, which can take several years, mating occurs in late spring or early summer after several hours of courtship.
Sometimes the second mating occurs in the summer. In a tropical climate, mating can occur several times a year. After mating, the snail can store the sperm obtained for up to a year, but usually lays eggs for several weeks.
Snails significantly lose weight by laying eggs. Some do not recover. About a third of the snails die after the breeding season. The snail lays eggs after 2 to 8 weeks after mating, in the holes made in the soil. The snail thrusts its head into the dug hole or creeps full into it, so that only the tip of the shell is visible, then it lays eggs from the genital opening behind the head.
The cochlea is required from 1 to 2 days to lay 30 – 50 eggs. Sometimes a snail lays several times more eggs several weeks later. The snail closes the hole with a mixture of mucus and dirt it emits. This mucus, which the snail secretes to facilitate its movement and helps to retain moisture in its soft body, is a lipoprotein similar to egg whites.