Pila conica

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apple snail

Taxonomy

Kingdom Animalia -- animals

Phylum Mollusca -- molluscs
Class Gastropoda -- gastropods, snails, slugs
Order Architaenioglossa
Family Ampullariidae
Species Pila conica

Taxonomic Serial Number

There is no TSN for this species.

The TSN for the genus Pila is 331605

Common Name

apple snail

Native Distribution

Southeast Asia, Philippines

Description and Basic Biology

Pila are large (up to 100 mm wide) pulmonate snails, allowing them to inhabit low-oxygen environments generally unavailable to native snails. On Guam, they are generally found in stagnant or slow-moving water. They lay eggs in white, grape-like clusters above the water’s surface. The eggs hatch in approximately three weeks, dropping the young into the water. Apple snails also have the ability to aestivate if conditions are unsuitable to their needs.

Environmental Impacts

Apple snails compete with native snails and with fish for food and habitat. They are also a plant pest, killing young native aquatic plants by feeding on or uprooting them.

Economic Impacts

These snails are agricultural pests, damaging submerged crops like rice. They may also be a human health threat as an intermediate host for parasites.

Method(s) of Introduction

Pila was brought to Guam as a food item, probably from the Philippines, where it is regularly used for that purpose.

Known Controls

The only control available is physical removal, which is time- and labor-intensive. Removal of the emersed egg masses is the most effective method known for physical control.

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