- Pomacea canaliculata is a species of large, globular, freshwater snail native to tropical and sub-tropical South America. They range in color from greenish to yellowish to dark brown. Their name comes from the deep groves between the whorls on their shell. P. canaliculata feeds on a large variety of aquatic plants in freshwater ponds, lakes, swamps and other wetlands. This species can easily be mistaken for other similar snail species such as Pomacea insularum and Pomacea lineata.
- Life Cycle
- In P.canaliculata the sexes are separate. Females lay clusters of bright pink eggs above the water line. They are attached to solid surfaces such as rocks, piers, emergent vegetation or trash. Within 7-15 days the eggs usually hatch. Each mass of eggs can contain from 200 up to 1000 eggs. Females can live up to 4 years and lay eggs every few weeks. Sexual maturity is reached when the snail reaches a certain size. A snail living under ideal conditions may reach sexual maturity much sooner than one living under poor conditions.
- P. canaliculata has been introduced around the world as a food and by the aquarium trade. They range from sub-tropical to tropical zones, but seem able to tolerate colder temperatures than other similar snails. They have been reported in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Texas and California. They are considered a serious crop pest in Asia and Hawaii. Wetland crops, such as rice and taro have been severely damaged.
- Control Efforts
- Preventive measures that enforce strict quarantine should help reduce or prevent the spread or introduction of this pest to new areas. Handpicking can remove both snails and eggs. Other animals, including some birds, also eat these snails.
- Timothy A Rawlings, Kenneth A Hayes, Robert H Cowie and Timothy M Collins. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2007, 7:97 doi:10.1186/1471-2148-7-97
- The Global Invasive Species Database: Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.
- The Apple Snail Website: Pomacea (pomacea) canaliculata.
- Hawaii's high-profile invasive species