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African Giant Snail

African Giant Snail

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Scientific Name:

Achatina fulica


Distribution

East Africa, also introduced to many countries of the world.


Diet:

Herbivore. Plant material, fruit, vegetables. Sometimes sand, small stones, bones from carcasses as a calcium source for its shell.


Facts

Habitat: Agricultural areas, coastal areas, wetlands,  forests, urban areas, savanna.

 

Incubation: 100-500 eggs, 11-15 days incubation period, up to six clutches per year

 

Social structure:  Solitary

 

Weight: ~32g

 

Dimensions: 6cm diameter, 12-30cm length max

 

Lifespan: 10 max

 

IUCN Status: Not evaluated.

 

Estimated population in the wild: Unknown

 

Threats:  There are no major threats to this species.

 

Did you know that:

They have been widely introduced to other parts of the world through the pet trade, as a food resource, and by accidental introduction
They are hermaphrodites. Each individual contains both sex reproductive systems. They do not self-fertilize, so they need to mate with another snail. When two snails mate, there is a possibility that gametes will be transferred to each one by the other simultaneously. However, this happens only in snails of the same size. If there is a size difference, the larger snail will act as the female and the gametes will only be transferred from the smaller snail to the larger snail.
Transferred sperm can be stored within the body for up to two years.
The upper pair of tentacles have eyes on their tips and the lower have a sensory organ that allows smell. They do not have a sense of hearing.
They are active at night and spend the day buried underground.
They are widely considered as one of the worlds’ most invasive species, and have been listed among the “100 World's Worst Invasive Alien Species” by the Global Invasive Species Database.

 




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