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Giant African Snail

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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 Name:
Giant African snail (GAS), giant African land snail, kalutara snail
Photo:
Giant East African Snail, albino shell - Yuri Yashin achatina.ru, Russian Federation

Spotlights

  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
    Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today that more than 168,000 giant African land snails have been eliminated in Florida since the invasive snail was discovered in Miami-Dade County in 2011. In addition to threatening more than 500 varieties of plants and agricultural commodities, GALS consume plaster and stucco to get the calcium needed to grow their shells. Ninety-six percent of GALS initial finds have been identified due to calls to the helpline. To report a giant African land snail, call the department's toll-free helpline at 1-888-397-1517. To preserve a snail sample with gloved hands put the snail in a zip-top bag, seal it, and put in a bucket or plastic container. Do not touch the snails or release them in a different location.
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)

Distribution/Maps/Survey Status

Quarantine

Images

Videos

Selected Resources

The section below contains selected highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. To view all related content for this species, click on "View all resources for species" in the top left of this page.

Partnership

European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.
Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project.
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

North American Plant Protection Organization.
USDA. APHIS. PPQ. CPHST. Identification Technology Program.

Federal Government

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

International Government

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Australia). Office of Biosecurity.

State and Local Government

Michigan Department of Agriculture.
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