(Photo courtesy of Arkive.org)
It’s big, it’s slow, it’s impressive! The Giant African Land Snail (Achatina fulica) is one of the world’s most invasive species. It has been introduced around the world from its native home in eastern Africa. The shell of the giant African snail is a reddish-brown color, with pale yellow vertical markings, although coloration can vary depending on the surrounding environmental conditions. When fully grown, the shell of the giant African snail has seven to nine whorls and is most often narrow and conical in shape. Some appear much broader and shorter, while others are much taller and more slender. Mainly active at night, the giant African snail feeds on living or dead plant matter from as many as 500 different plant species, including many economically valuable crops such as cabbage, cauliflower, cacao and banana.
The largest recorded specimen of this species measured 15.5 inches from snout to tail when fully extended. Its shell length was 10.75 inches and it weighed two pounds. You can even buy one for a pet! Want to see a giant snail in action? Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njN3h1cHV7s