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Invasion of the Giant African Snail

Escargot? More like Escar-No!

The USDA and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have been fighting to stop the spread of the giant African snail. In six, months, more than 40,000 of these snails have been collected. Alert homeowners are the first line of defense in reporting signs of snail infestations. Please do your part in the fight against invasive species — if you have a giant African snail or see the snails or signs of their presence, call the toll-free helpline at 888-397-1517.


Species Profiles
Giant African Snail
Giant African snail Scientific name: Lissachatina fulica (Bowdich)

Synonym: Achatina fulica (Bowdich 1822), formerly Férussac 1821

Common names: Giant African snail, giant African land snail


Native To: Africa

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

Images: 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 GovernmentAchatina 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 Snail
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Plant Industry.
Photographs; Distribution; Legal Aspects

Giant African Land Snails
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Photographs; Legal Aspects

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

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