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

Giant African Snail

Giant African snailScientific name: Achatina fulica

Common names: Giant African snail, giant African land snail

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Native To: Africa

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1966 (first established population)

Images: Invasive.org and Google

Video: Giant African Snails Invade Kochi (or click Play button below)

Means of Introduction: Imported as pets and for educational purposes; may also arrive accidentally in cargo

Impact: Damages native plants and crops. Scientists consider the giant African snail, Achatina fulica, to be one of the most damaging snails in the world. It is known to eat at least 500 different types of plants

Current U.S. Distribution:

Federally Regulated: Snails in the genus Achatina (e.g., Achatina fulica, the Giant African Snail), are specifically prohibited for both interstate movement and importation into the U.S. This snail species group is not only strictly prohibited from entering the U.S. but is safeguarded when discovered. (USDA, APHIS - Regulated Organism and Soil Permits: Snails and Slugs)

Management Plans: Animals

Selected Internet Resources:

Federal Government

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

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

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Pests of Plants and Plant Products: Giant African snail
Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry. Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.
Photographs; Impacts; Distribution

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

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

Giant African Snail - Pest Advisory Leaflet No. 6 (PDF | 77 KB)
Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Plant Protection Service.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Controls

The Giant African Snail (PDF | 280KB)
Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Ministry of Agriculture, Land, and Marine Resources.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Distribution; Dispersion; Controls

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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

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

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Last Modified: Feb 16, 2011
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