Giant snails a danger in Florida

August 10, 2005

Florida officials reportedly are fearful giant South American channeled apple snails might threaten native species and endanger water quality.

"It has a voracious appetite, so it can just decimate the native aquatic plant habitat," Ken Gioeli, a natural resources agent for the University of Florida told the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post.

Florida extension agents say the mollusks can reach fist size, 10 times the size of native apple snails. A few giant snails were discovered last week in a Vero Beach, Fla., area canal and Gioeli says it's probably only a matter of time before they appear in other ponds, canals or waterways.

Once a delicacy in Hawaii, Taiwan and the Philippines, the newspaper said the snails were introduced to South Florida through aquarium trades and aquaculture as early as 1978.

Gioeli said the invasive species endangers the native apple snail by depleting food sources, such as pickerelweed and duck potato. That, he said, can threaten water quality by wiping out the native plants that filter nutrients.

Gioeli told the Post the giant snails, which can lay as many as 1,000 eggs weekly, can be humanely killed by being put into a freezer.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: River prawns stop disease spread in West Africa

Related Stories

River prawns stop disease spread in West Africa

August 25, 2015

The Diama Dam that spans between Senegal and Mauritania in West Africa was intended to improve crop irrigation when it was built in 1986. But while preventing saltwater intrusion, the dam also altered the region's ecology, ...

Study shows how giant clams harness the sun

October 2, 2014

Evolution in extreme environments has produced life forms with amazing abilities and traits. Beneath the waves, many creatures sport iridescent structures that rival what materials scientists can make in the laboratory.

Scientists announce top 10 new species for 2014 (w/ Video)

May 22, 2014

An appealing carnivorous mammal, a 12-meter-tall tree that has been hiding in plain sight and a sea anemone that lives under an Antarctic glacier are among the species identified by the SUNY College of Environmental Science ...

Philippines to fight invading species

March 9, 2011

Like some bad science-fiction movie, Philippine fishermen are encountering strange alien creatures: tough, speckled fish with sharp spines that tear and rip their nets.

Recommended for you

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...

New gene map reveals cancer's Achilles heel

November 25, 2015

Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.

Study suggests fish can experience 'emotional fever'

November 25, 2015

(—A small team of researchers from the U.K. and Spain has found via lab study that at least one type of fish is capable of experiencing 'emotional fever,' which suggests it may qualify as a sentient being. In their ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.