BugwoodWiki Article

giant East African snail
Achatina fulica Bowdich, 1822


Achatina fulica is originally from East Africa.
Life Cycle
Achatina fulica, is one of the largest land snails in the world. It can grow up to 8 in. (20.3 cm) long and over four inches in diameter. The brownish shell consists of seven to nine whorls that cover half or more of the swollen body whorl. Achatina fulica can live up to nine years. They contain both female and male reproductive organs. After a single mating Achatina fulica can produce 100 - 400 eggs. A mated adult can produce about 1,200 eggs.
Achatina fulica has established itself throughout the Indo-Pacific and the Hawaiian Islands. This pest has also been introduced into the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe with recent detections in Saint Lucia and Barbados. The last reported outbreak and eradication of Achatina fulica in Florida occurred in 1966 when a boy smuggled three of them into Miami as pets.
Control Efforts
Achatina fulica has been introduced purposefully and accidentally to many parts of the world for medicinal purposes, food (escargot), and for research purposes (Raut and Barker 2002). In some instances, the snail has escaped cultivation and established reproductive populations in the wild. In Florida and Queensland, established populations were eradicated (Raut and Barker 2002). Molluscicides are effective in managing Achatina fulica, but most of these types of pesticides also have a negative effect on beneficial organisms such as earthworms, ground beetles and other soil dwelling organisms.