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

Giant African Snail

Giant African snail

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 names: Giant African snail, giant African land snail, kalutara snail

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  • 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.

Selected Resources

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

Current U.S. Distribution:




Selected Resources:


Terrestrial Mollusc Tool - Lissachatina fulica
USDA. APHIS. PPQ. CPHST. Identification Technology Program.

Fact Sheet: Giant African Land Snail
Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project.

New York Invasive Species Information - Giant African Land Snail
New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

Phytosanitary Alert System - Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich
North American Plant Protection Organization.

Invasive Species Compendium - Lissachatina fulica
CAB International.

EPPO Global Database - Lissachatina fulica
European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.

Global Invasive Species Database - Achatina fulica (mollusc)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

Plant Pests and Diseases Program: Mollusks - Giant African Snail
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

Hungry Pests: The Threat - Giant African Snail
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

International Government

Emergency Plant Pests and Diseases: Giant African Snail
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Australia). Office of Biosecurity.

State Government

Pests & Diseases - Giant African Land Snail
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Plant Industry.

Regulatory & Scientific Information: Giant African Land Snails
Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Entomology and Plant Pathology.

Michigan Invasive Species - Giant African Snail
State of Michigan.


Introduced Species Summary Project - Giant (East) African Snail
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

EDIS - Giant African Land Snail
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Publication #ENY-512


The Giant African Snail: A Problem in Economic Malacology (1961)
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.)


CABI. Invasive Species Compendium. Lissachatina fulica. CAB International. [Accessed Feb 19, 2015].

Civeyrel, L. and D. Simberloff. 1996. A tale of two snails: is the cure worse than the disease? Biodiversity & Conservation 5(10):1231-1252.

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.

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Last Modified: Aug 18, 2018
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