Giant African land snail

Lissachatina fulica

''Lissachatina fulica'' is a species of large land snail that belong in the Achatinidae family. It is also known as the giant African snail or giant African land snail.

This snail species has been considered a significant cause in pest issues around the world. Internationally, it is the most frequently occurring invasive species of snail.

Outside of its native range this snail thrives in many types of habitat in areas with mild climates. It feeds voraciously and is a vector for plant pathogens, causing severe damage to agricultural crops and native plants. It competes with native snail taxa, is a nuisance pest of urban areas, and spreads human disease. This snail is listed as one of the top 100 invasive species in the world.
Lissachatina fulica (ex: Achatina fulica) - Giant African Snail / Caracol-Gigante-Africano (Férussac, 1821) Gastropoda: Orthogastropoda: Heterobranchia: Pulmonata: Stylommatophora: Sigmurethra: Achatinoidea: Achatinidae: Achatininae


Lissachatina fulica, previously known as Achatina fulica, is a species of land snails belonging in the class Gastropoda, subclass Orthogastropoda, superorder Heterobranchia, order Pulmonata, suborder Stylommatophora, infraorder Sigmurethra, superfamily Achatinoidea, family Achatinidae and subfamily Achatininae.

There are four subspecies in this species:
Lissachatina fulica hamillei (Petit, 1859)
Lissachatina fulica rodatzi (Dunker, 1852)
Lissachatina fulica sinistrosa (Grateloup, 1840)
Lissachatina fulica umbilicata (Nevill, 1879)

Lissachatina fulica is a large snail that is native to East Africa. They have a very wide diet, being able to feed on decaying vegetable matter, fruits, live vegetables, rich soil, tiny stones, bones and even concrete. The Lissachatina fulica needs a lot of calcium (Ca, atomic number 20) to maintain their shell healthy. Deficiency in calcium causes the shell to break or / and to become very soft, eventually making the snail eat its own shell to get calcium and die, or to feed on the shell of other snails, causing damage to that snail. This condition is very serious to the health of the snail and can lead to its death. Later on, I will provide a list of allowed food and a calcium-rich diet that is exceptional to the health of the snail's shell.

They are hermaphrodites. They are also able to self-fertilize, but these cases are considered rare. A bump (often confused as a tumor) on the right side of the head appears as the snail matures; this is actually the snail's genitalia which they use through bilateral mating. Snails of different sizes will often mate unilaterally, the larger acting as the female. The transfer of gametes can last up to two hours and courting involves touching each other's heads and frontal parts. The sperm transferred can be stored for two years and an average of 200 eggs can be produced. Adulthood is reached in about 6 months, but they only stop growing when they die. After adulthood, growth slows. They can live up to 10 years with an average of 5 or 6 under captivity; in nature, that expectancy is usually halved. They prefer to stay hidden underground during the day, and come out of the ground to feed at night.

They are hosts to a few parasites, which include:

1 - Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, which causes cardiopulmonary strongylosis in cats. The diagnosis is completed through microscopic identification and confirmation of the pathology through the examination of the parasites in the faeces.

2 - Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which causes eosinophilic menigoencephalitis. The diagnosis is done through lumbar punctioning, the exam of hemogram, blood culture and C-Reactive Protein.

3 - Angiostrongylus costaricensis, which causes abdominal angiostrongyliasis. Of hard diagnosis and not detectable through the examination of the faeces. One of the marks of this pathology is the eosinophilia in the hemogram, which is the mass production of eosinophils. The parasites place themselves in the arterioles of the mesenteric artery of the ileum cecal region of the intestine in the lower right quadrant, causing pain that imitates appendicitis, or in the spermatic artery. They do not appear in ultrasound scans or in computed tomography with intravenous contrast. Diagnosis can be done through colonoscopy (I'm unaware how reliable it is) with biopsy of the inflammated areas or through laparatomy, with excision of the affected part of the intestine followed by anastomosis. The biopsy will comprove the pathology if the patient has it.

4 - Schistosoma mansoni, which causes schistosomiasis, detectable through the faeces. The presence of eosinophilia in the hemogram (mass production of eosinophils) and the conduction of the examination of the faeces with quantitative coproscopy (such as Hoffman or Kato-Katz) might detect the pathology. The hemogram displays leukopenia, anemia and thrombocytopenia, being pathognomonic the fibrosis and periportal thickening, hypertrophy of the left hepatic lobe and increased caliber of the superior mesenteric artery. Rectal biopsy may also be used.

5 - Trichuris spp., which is detectable in the faeces and causes trichuriasis.

6 - Hymenolepis spp., which is detectable in the faeces and causes hymenolepiasis.

7 - Strongyloides spp., which is detectable in the faeces and in mucous secretions and causes strongyloidiasis.

Exceptional food sources to the health of a Lissachatina fulica can include: apple, apricot, avocado, banana, plum, pumpkin, pitaya, grapes, kiwi, mango, melon, nectarine, orange, Indian fig, peach, pear, blackberry, raspberry, tomato leaves, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cucumber, lettuce, green beans, mushrooms (not all, thus, not recommended), peas, berries, potato, sweet corn, turnip, leaves of Taraxacum sp. (not recommended due to the use of pesticides), oats, raw eggs, mowed egg shells, cuttlefish bone, whole wheat bread and collard greens.

An exceptional, rich main diet for strengthening the shell includes extremely mowed egg shells (in which the particles look like sand) and chemical-free collard greens. More chemical-free food can be added occasionally. They prefer rich, humid soil to thrive, such as worm humus and prefer humid habitats. Water containing chlorine (Cl, atomic number 17) might cause damage towards the snail's life expectancy, so for the health of the snail, chlorine-free water is recommended.

Size: Around 7cm in height and 20cm in length or more on the adults.

Highly adaptable to a wide variety of habitats. They are native to East Africa, but adapted to other conditions after irresponsible introduction. They have established in most temperate regions, and now their habitat includes the humid tropics. The Lissachatina fulica can now be found in agricultural areas, coastland, natural forest, planted forests, riparian zones, scrub and shrublands, urban areas, and wetlands.


Text revision by Fernanda Barcellos (

The individual in the middle seems to be another species, not Lissachatina fulica, so this text may be changed in the future.

VERSÃO EM PORTUGUÊS AQUI: Achatina fulica,Achatinidae,Achatininae,Achatinoidea,Brazil,Gastropod,Gastropoda,Geotagged,Giant African Snail,Heterobranchia,Lissachatina,Lissachatina fulica,Orthogastropoda,Pulmonata,Sigmurethra,Snail,Stylommatophora,brasil,ceara,ceará


The adult snail is around 7 centimetres in height and 20 centimetres or more in length.

The shell has a conical shape, being about twice as high as it is broad. Either clockwise or counter-clockwise directions can be observed in the coiling of the shell, although the right-handed cone is the more common. Shell colouration is highly variable, and dependent on diet. Typically, brown is the predominant colour and the shell is banded. The shell is particularly tough and has the highest heavy metal content of any snail species.
Secret Revealed I used to wonder, these eggs belongs to which animal? whenever I used to see these eggs under the rocks near stream.. After this I think now I know the answer.. No more secrets.. ;-) 
You can see this snail laying eggs with natural adhesives to make sure it sticks there.. Amazing nature!!!

Note: id: Achatina cf. fulica (invasive exotic snail sps. which got introduced in India back in 18th century) Achatina fulica,D5200,Geotagged,India,Lissachatina fulica,Nikon,NikonD5200,Summer,Tamron,abhitap,incredible india,incredibleindia,invasive species,karnala,life,maharashtra,nature,snail,wild,wildlife


Subspecies within this species:
⤷  ''Lissachatina fulica hamillei'' Petit, 1859
⤷  ''Lissachatina fulica rodatzi'' Dunker, 1852
⤷  ''Lissachatina fulica sinistrosa'' Grateloup, 1840
⤷  ''Lissachatina fulica umbilicata'' Nevill, 1879

Achatina fulica (Férussac, 1821)
Helix (Cochlitoma) fulica Férussac, 1821 (basionym)
Helix fulica Férussac, 1821 (original combination)
Achatina fulica Just adding this invasive species for Indonesia Achatina fulica,Achatinidae,Gastropoda,Lissachatina,Lissachatina fulica,Mollusca,Stylommatophora,invasive species


The species is native to East Africa, but it has been widely introduced to other parts of the world through the pet trade, as a food resource, and by accidental introduction.

This species has been found in China since 1931 and its initial point of distribution in China was Xiamen. The snail has also been established in the Pratas Islands, of Taiwan, throughout India, the Pacific, Indian Ocean islands, Southeast Asia and the West Indies. The species was established in the United States in 1936. They were brought to the U. S. through imports. They were intended to be used for educational uses and to be pets. Some were also introduced because they were accidentally shipped with other cargo. Eradication is currently underway in Florida.

The species has recently been observed in Bhutan (Gyelposhing, Mongar), where it is an invasive species. It has begun to attack agricultural fields and flower gardens. It is believed there that dogs have died as a result of consuming the snail.
Achatina fulica - Larger and smaller Just adding this invasive species for Indonesia Achatina fulica,Achatinidae,Gastropoda,Lissachatina,Lissachatina fulica,Mollusca,Stylommatophora,invasive species


The giant African snail is capable of aestivating for up to three years in times of extreme drought, sealing itself into its shell by secretion of a calcerous compound that dries on contact with the air.
Lissachatina fulica (ex: Achatina fulica) - Giant African Snail / Giant African Landsnail (Férussac, 1821) Full post here: Achatina fulica,Achatinidae,Achatininae,Achatinoidea,Brazil,Gastropod,Gastropoda,Geotagged,Giant African Snail,Heterobranchia,Lissachatina,Lissachatina fulica,Orthogastropoda,Pulmonata,Sigmurethra,Snail,Stylommatophora,brasil,ceara,ceará


The giant African snail is native to East Africa, and can be traced back to Kenya and Tanzania. It is a highly invasive species, and colonies can be formed from a single gravid individual. In many places, release into the wild is illegal. Nonetheless, the species has established itself in some temperate climates and its habitat now includes most regions of the humid tropics, including many Pacific islands, southern and eastern Asia, and the Caribbean. The giant snail can now be found in agricultural areas, coastland, natural forest, planted forests, riparian zones, scrub and shrublands, urban areas, and wetlands.
Lissachatina fulica (Férussac, 1821)  Achatinidae,India,Land Snails,Lissachatina fulica,invasive species


This species is a simultaneous hermaphrodite; each individual has both testes and ovaries and is capable of producing both sperm and ova. Instances of self-fertilization are rare, occurring only in small populations. Although both snails in a mating pair can simultaneously transfer gametes to each other , this is dependent on the size difference between the partners. Snails of similar size will reproduce in this way. Two snails of differing sizes will mate unilaterally , with the larger individual acting as a female. This is due to the comparative resource investment associated with the different genders.

Like other land snails, these have intriguing mating behaviour, including petting their heads and front parts against each other. Courtship can last up to half an hour, and the actual transfer of gametes can last for two hours. Transferred sperm can be stored within the body for up to two years. The number of eggs per clutch averages around 200. A snail may lay five to six clutches per year with a hatching viability of about 90%.

Adult size is reached in about six months, after which growth slows, but does not cease until death. Life expectancy is commonly five or six years in captivity, but the snails can live for up to ten years. They are active at night and spend the day buried underground.
Achatina fulica – Giant African Snail Large snail on a section of cut bamboo.

Location is Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. Alongside a stream and paddy fields.

This snail is native to East Africa, but it has been widely introduced to other parts of the world. It is listed as one of the 100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species. Achatina fulica,Bandung,Geotagged,Giant African Snail,Indonesia,Java,Lissachatina fulica,Spring,West Java,invasive species,snail


The giant African snail is a macrophytophagous herbivore; it eats a wide range of plant material, fruit, and vegetables. It will sometimes eat sand, very small stones, bones from carcasses and even concrete as calcium sources for its shell. In rare instances the snails will consume each other.

In captivity, this species can be fed on a wide range of fruit and vegetables, plain unseasoned mince or boiled egg. They can also occasionally be fed cuttlefish bone, which is commonly used as a calcium source for healthy shell growth. It requires about 18.28% of crude protein in its diet for optimal growth.


Parasites of Lissachatina fulica include:
Aelurostrongylus abstrusus
Angiostrongylus cantonensis — causes eosinophilic meningoencephalitis
Angiostrongylus costaricensis — causes abdominal angiostrongyliasis
Schistosoma mansoni — causes schistosomiasis, detected in faeces
Trichuris spp. — detected in faeces
Hymenolepis spp. — detected in faeces
Strongyloides spp. — detected in faeces and in mucous secretion


Lissachatina fulica are used by some practitioners of Candomblé for religious purposes in Brazil as an offering to the deity Oxalá. The snails substitute for a closely related species, the African giant snail (Archachatina marginata) normally offered in Nigeria. The two species share a common name (Ìgbín, also known as ibi or boi-de-oxalá in Brazil), and are similar enough in appearance to satisfy religious authorities. They are also edible if cooked properly. The snails have also become increasingly popular as pets, with A. fulica one of the most common snails being sold in the pet trade. In Taiwan, this species is used in the dish of η‚’θžΊθ‚‰ (Hot Frying snails) which is a delicacy among the traditional drinking snacks. Achatina fulica constitutes the predominant land snail found in Chinese markets.

The heparinoid acharan sulfate is isolated from this species.


In many places this snail is a pest of agriculture and households with the ability to transmit both human and plant pathogens. Suggested preventive measures include strict quarantine to prevent introduction and further spread. This snail has been given top national quarantine significance in the United States. In the past, quarantine officials have been able to successfully intercept and eradicate incipient invasions on the mainland USA.

In the wild, this species often harbors the parasitic nematode ''Angiostrongylus cantonensis'', which can cause a very serious meningitis in humans. Human cases of this meningitis usually result from a person having eaten the raw or undercooked snail, but even handling live wild snails of this species can infect a person with the nematode and thus cause a life-threatening infection.

In some regions, an effort has been made to promote use of the giant African snail as a food resource in order to reduce its populations. However, promoting a pest in this way is a controversial measure, because it may encourage the further deliberate spread of the snails.

One particularly catastrophic attempt to biologically control this species occurred on South Pacific Islands. Colonies of ''A. fulica'' were introduced as a food reserve for the American military during World War II and they escaped. A carnivorous species was later introduced by the United States government, in an attempt to control ''A. fulica'' but the rosy wolf snail instead heavily preyed upon the native ''Partula'', causing the extinction of most ''Partula'' species within a decade.


Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

SpeciesL. fulica