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You are here: Home / Animals / Species Profiles / Giant African Snail
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Species Profiles

Giant African Snail

Giant African snail

Scientific name: Lissachatina fulica (Bowdich)

Synonym: Achatina fulica (Bowdich 1822), formerly Férussac 1821

Common names: Giant African snail, giant African land snail

Note: A. fulica was recently redesignated Lissachatina fulica, largely on the basis of Mead's (1961) observations (Naggs, 2002). See Invasive Species Compedium - Lissachatina fulica for more information.

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Spotlights:

  • Escargot? More like Escar-No! (Apr 19, 2012)
    USDA. Blog.
    USDA and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have been fighting to stop the spread of the giant African snail. In six, months, more than 40,000 of these snails have been collected. Alert homeowners are the first line of defense in reporting signs of snail infestations. Please do your part in the fight against invasive species -- if you have a giant African snail or see the snails or signs of their presence, call the toll-free helpline at 888-397-1517.

  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Identifies Giant African Land Snails in Miami-Dade County (Sep 15, 2011)
    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
    The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has positively identified a population of Giant African land snails (GALS) in Miami-Dade County. The Giant African land snail is one of the most damaging snails in the world because they consume at least 500 different types of plants, can cause structural damage to plaster and stucco, and can carry a parasitic nematode that can lead to meningitis in humans. Anyone who believes they may have seen a Giant African land snail or signs of its presence should call FDACS toll-free at 888-397-1517 to make arrangements to have the snail collected.


Native To: Africa (Thiengo et al. 2007)

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: Causes extensive damage to numerous species of plants and crops (Venette and Larson 2004)

Current U.S. Distribution:

Quarantine:

Images:

Video:

Selected Internet Resources:

Federal Government

Achatina fulica (Ferussac, 1821)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
Taxonomy

Giant African Snail
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Controls

Achatina fulica Article Citation Search - AGRICOLA Database
USDA. National Agricultural Library.
Research; Special Note: NAL Catalog Search (resources)

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State Government

Giant African Land Snail
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Plant Industry.
Photographs; Distribution; Legal Aspects

Giant African Land Snails
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Photographs; Legal Aspects

Giant African Land Snails Fact Sheet (PDF | 26 KB)
Michigan Department of Agriculture.
Identification/Description; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution; Controls

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University/Academic

Giant (East) African Snail - Introduced Species Summary Project
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Controls

Giant African Land Snail
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Controls

Giant African Land Snail - Indiana's Most Unwanted Invasive Plant Pests
Purdue University (Indiana). Indiana Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) Program.
Photographs; Impacts; Distribution

Giant African Snail
University of Tennessee. Institute of Agriculture.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Life Cycle; Dispersion

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International

Giant African snail
Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry.
Photographs; Impacts; Distribution

Giant African Snail
Biosecurity New Zealand.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Life Cycle; Distribution

Lissachatina fulica - Invasive Species Compendium
Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI).
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Controls

Achatina fulica (mollusc) - ISSG Global Invasive Species Database
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Controls

The Spread of the Snail Achatina fulica to South China (Nov 1931; PDF | 785 KB)
University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong Journals Online.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle

Exotic plant pests: Giant African snail
Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (Australia). Office of Biosecurity.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Habitat; Controls; Special Note: Identification guide

Introduction of Giant African Snail to Various Pacific Islands - Ag Alert No. 15 (Sep 1996; PDF | 78 KB)
Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Plant Protection Service.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Distribution; Controls

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Organizations

The Giant African Snail: A Problem in Economic Malacology (1961)
Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk.
Special Note: Complete text of the book by Albert R. Mead

Achatina fulica
Invasive.org.
Photographs

Giant African Snails are Invader of the Month
Maryland Invasive Species Council.
Photographs; Impacts; Controls

Giant African Land Snail
Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts

Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich
North American Plant Protection Organization. Phytosanitary Alert System.
Photographs; Impacts; Distribution

Citations

Thiengo, S.C., F.A. Faraco, N.C. Salgado, R.H. Cowie, and M.A. Fernandez. 2007. Rapid spread of an invasive snail in South America: the giant African snail, Achatina fulica, in Brasil. Biological Invasions 9(6):693-702.

Venette, R.C., and M. Larson. 2004. Mini Risk Assessment: Giant African Snail, Achatina fulica Bowdich (PDF | 416 KB) USDA, APHIS, Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey.

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Last Modified: Jul 01, 2014
 
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