Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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GIANT AFRICAN LAND SNAIL
Synonym: Lissachatina fulica
Not native to Florida
Native to east Africa, mostly Kenya and Tanzania, this large land snail is invasive in many tropical and temperate parts of the world. There have been several instances where this snail has been found by the thousands in Miami, where an eradication effort is currently being undertaken. It is an established invasive in Hawaii.
The snail shell pictured here was collected in 2011 in Miami as part of the eradication program. This one is 13.3 cm (5-1/4 in) long and about 3 years old. Giant African land snails can reach 20 cm (~ 8 in.) long and 7 cm (2-3/4 in.) wide. The conical shells are typically twice as long as wide and can spiral in either direction, although right-handed (dextral) is more common. The shell patterns are highly variable and influenced by diet, although usually banded with brown the predominant color. Normally these snails have a life expectancy of five to six years in captivity, but can live up to ten years. Each year an adult snail may lay five or six clutches of up to 200 eggs each. Adult size is reached in six months, at which point growth slows but never stops.
Achatina fulica is considered one of the most damaging snails in the world because of the wide range of plants it will feed on, the prolific reproduction, and the fact that it can transmit rat lungworm disease to humans.
For more information on this species, visit the following link:
FL Dept. of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry page for this species
Date record last modified:
Aug 14, 2016