Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich
An emerging snail in the Caribbean which poses a threat to both agriculture and human health
Name: Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich
Animalia: Mollusca: Gastropoda: Stylommatophora: Achatinidae
Common Names: Giant African Snail
The Giant African Snail (GAS), Achatina fulica, is one of the most serious terrestrial snail pests known and is emerging in the Caribbean Basin. Achatina fulica has been reported in Guadeloupe and Martinique since the late 1980s, and was identified in Saint Lucia and Barbados in 2000.
Issues of Concern:
Like many snails, A. fulica multiplies prodigiously and can establish large populations in a relatively short time. Once established, eradication is not easily achieved. Aside from the risk to plants and agriculture, numerous diseases are associated with these mollusks. There is increasing concern over the potential exposure of inspection personnel to infected mollusks during routine inspections. This species is known to be a vector of parasitic rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans. It is also a vector of a gram-negative bacterium, Aeromonas hydrophila, which causes a wide range of symptoms, particularly in persons on immunosuppressant drugs. Please see the attached notice concerning public health concerns.
Hosts: In its native range, A. fulica is a scavenger found on decayed vegetation, animal matter, lichens, algae and fungi. As an introduced pest it has been found on members of the Cruciferae, Curcurbitaceae and Leguminosae plant families; citrus species; several varieties of ornamentals; and the bark of a few larger tree species.
USDA-APHIS. Plant Pest Information for the Giant African Snail. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/gas/index.shtml
USDA-APHIS. Species Profile for the Giant African Snail. National Invasive Species Information Center. http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/animals/africansnail.shtml
Phytosanitary Alert System
Pest Alert www.pestalert.org
Prepared on: 02/12/2004