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Giant African Snail

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Giant African Snail
Giant East African Snail, albino shell - Yuri Yashin achatina.ru, Russian Federation
Scientific Name: 

Lissachatina fulica (Bowdich) (CABI)
Note: A. fulica was recently redesignated Lissachatina fulica, largely on the basis of Mead's (1961) observations (Naggs, 2002).

Synonym: 

Achatina fulica (Bowdich 1822), formerly Férussac 1821 (CABI)

Common Name: 

Giant African snail (GAS), giant African land snail, kalutara snail

Native To: 
Date of U.S. Introduction: 

First introduced to Hawaii in 1936; first introduced to the continental U.S. in 1966 (Thiengo et al. 2007)

Means of Introduction: 

Imported as pets and for educational purposes; may also arrive accidentally in cargo (Thiengo et al. 2007)

Impact: 

Agricultural and garden pest; attacks and feeds on hundreds of different plant species (Civeyrel and Simberloff 1996; Thiengo et al. 2007)

Spotlights

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

This week, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Plant Industry (DPI), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced the eradication of the giant African land snail (GALS) from Broward and Miami-Dade counties. This eradication announcement marks only the second time this pest has been eradicated in the world, both in South Florida. For the past 11 years, the FDACS Division of Plant Industry has worked toward eradication through multiple rounds of visual surveys and inspections, K-9 detector dog surveys and inspections, manual collection and treatment programs. In total, 168,538 snails were collected from 32 core population areas comprised of thousands of properties.

The giant African land snail is a highly invasive agricultural pest, known to feed on over 500 varieties of plants. They also pose a risk to humans and animals by carrying rat lung worm, a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans. Giant African land snail is a federally regulated pest and both the USDA and DPI will continue to remain vigilant in their commitments to safeguard American agriculture through surveys, early detection, and rapid response. The public should continue to watch for the snails and report suspects to the FDACS-DPI hotline at 1-888-397-1517.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

USDA. APHIS. Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey. National Agricultural Pest Information System.

Federally Regulated

USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

Snails in the genus Achatina (e.g., Achatina fulica, the Giant African Snail), are specifically prohibited for both interstate movement and importation into the U.S. This snail species group is not only strictly prohibited from entering the U.S. but is safeguarded when discovered. See also: Regulated Organism and Soil Permits: Snails and Slugs

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

See what states have a federal quarantine for any of the targeted Hungry Pests, and identify which pests or diseases are at greatest risk due to a suitable habitat. In addition to federal quarantines, state-level quarantines might apply see State Summaries of Plant Protection Laws and Regulations (National Plant Board).

Images

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Videos

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Giant African Snail.

Partnership
European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.
Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project.

National Plant Diagnostic Network.

You can become a more effective First Detector by familiarizing yourself with invasive target pests and pathogens known to exist in the U.S. If you think you have encountered one of the species or disease complexes listed, report its presence.

IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

USDA. APHIS. PPQ. CPHST. Identification Technology Program.

Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area.

Federal Government
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.
International Government

South Australia Primary Industries and Regions (Australia).

See also: Emergency and Significant Plant Pests for more resources

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. PestNet.

State and Local Government

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Plant Industry.

Giant African land snails (GALS) could be devastating to Florida agriculture and natural areas because they cause extensive damage to tropical and subtropical environments. GALS are illegal to import into the U.S. without a permit. If you have seen one of these snails please contact the FDACS helpline (888) 397-1517.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Entomology and Plant Pathology.

Academic
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source Publication #ENY-512
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.
Professional
Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk.
Note: Complete text of the book by Albert R. Mead (1961. Albert R. Mead. The University of Chicago Press. Chicago. 257 pp.)

Citations