The OECD has successfully validated reproductive toxicity test guidelines with fish and frogs for diverse chemicals (including endocrine disrupters). Since molluscs are especially sensitive to chronic exposure to a number of chemicals, the OECD supports the complementary development and validation of a mollusc reproduction test guideline. An ad hoc mollusc expert group has been formed in Europe to validate methods that can meet this need. Currently, a key species for use in this context is the freshwater gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis. An important aspect of this work is to first develop a specific pathogen free defined strain of L. stagnalis and second to establish a historical database of growth and reproductive rates under defined culturing conditions. A mass culture of the RENILYS® strain of L. stagnalis have been established at INRA (France) since 2002 and has been distributed to research laboratories in Denmark, Germany and the UK for the OECD pre-validation work to date. Laboratory cultures of L. stagnalis are traditionally fed fresh (preferably organic) lettuce; however, interrupted supplies of fresh lettuce in some countries in 2011 highlighted a potential problem for the draft OECD test guideline. Therefore, we have evaluated other diets based on a review of the published literature and report here the results for different feeds: namely, cabbage leaves, fish flakes, lettuce leaves or sliced sweet potato. For the feeding trial, 5 snails (shell size ca. 2.6 cm) were held in 1 L freshwater. Aeration was provided in all vessels, and for all the vegetable diets treatments concentrations of ammonia, nitrate and nitrite, the dissolved oxygen concentrations (>6 mg/L), pH (6.5-8.5) and temperature (20±1ºC) ranges remained acceptable. However, the fish flake diet gave low dissolved oxygen levels (< 10% saturation). In this 28-d study, mean specific growth rates were highest for snails fed lettuce ad libitum (0.09 mm/snail/day) followed by snails fed fish flake>sweet potato>cabbage leave diets (0.03 mm/snail/day). Similarly, in a 56-d ring-test study with 7 laboratories, the lettuce diet gave mean specific growth rates of 0.06-0.09 mm/snail/day. Fecundity in the same test ranged from 519-1424 total embryos per snail. These data will be used towards developing a reference database of growth and reproduction for L. stagnalis and to aid the statistical optimization of the draft OECD test guideline for partial and full lifecycle testing of chemicals.