Giant African Land Snails

Large and spectacular, the Giant African Snails (GAS), Lissachatina Lissachatina (= Achatina fulica and A. achatina, are an interesting threat as they are often imported illegally in the pet and shell trades and sometimes used in educational settings. It is illegal to possess these large attractive snails and several school children have been left in tears as government agents repossess their pets. They can be voracious pests in tropical and subtropical areas, can switch host plants readily, and may also carry the lungworm parasites, A. cantonensis and A. costaricensis. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced detection a population of A. fulica in the Miami-Dade County on September 15, 2011. Years ago, over 170 of these snails were turned in or seized in an APHIS/Wisconsin Department of Agriculture operation. More information about these snails and two additional species, the banana rasp snail, A. marinata and Limacolaria aurora can be found at the APHIS website:



There is a new website from The Rat Lungworm Disease Workshop in Hawaii. 16-18 August, 2011.

There is a new slide show presentation with speaker notes on GAS at the ProtectUS website.

The entire text of the book, The Giant African Snail, by Albert R. Mead is now available on-line.

This page contains links to the searchable full text of the all the articles in the book entitled The Giant African Snail (1961. Albert R. Mead. The University of Chicago Press. Chicago. 257 pp.).


Giant African Snail video from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services


Page last modified 1/9/13

Photo: David Robinson. APHIS, NAS