Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: > 300
Comments: It has been introduced into canals and ditches in southeast Florida (Thompson, 1997; 1999). Analysis of COI and ND6 mtDNA markers have confirmed the introduction of this species in Hawaii (Tran et al., 2008) first on Maui (1989) and subsequently on Lanai (Koele golf course) (Cowie, 1996) and latger all main islands including Kaua'i, O'ahu, Molokai'i, Lana'i, Maui, Hawai'i (Cowie et al., 2007).
Very little, if any, information is known about positive economic importance for humans from the channeled apple snail. However, they are cooked and eaten in parts of Asia such as China and Thailand. Their invasive nature has made their use in aquarium cultures a concern, and has been discouraged.
The species' native distribution is tropical and subtropical South America, including the Amazonas and the Plata basins; the southernmost record for the species is the Paso de las Piedras reservoir south of Buenos Aires province, and recently in Northern Patagonia: Balneario La Herradua, near the Limay River, province of Neuquén, Argentina (Darrigran et al. 2011). The species is the southernmost applesnail in the world (Estebenet and Martín 2002).
This species is an introduced species and is considered to be one of the worst invaders in recent time in the southeast Asian region. It has mostly been introduced in this region as a food item (Cowie 2002). It has been found in Taiwan since between 1979 and 1981 (Cowie 2002), in Japan since 1981 (Fujio et al. 1991), in the Philippines since either 1980 or 1982 (Mochida 1991, Anderson 1993, Halwart 1994), in southern China since 1981 (Cowie 2005, Shan et al. 2009), and has also been introduced to Korea (probably 1986), Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia (1987), the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra (1989), Thailand (1989), Viet Nam (1988 or 1989) and Laos (1992) (Cowie 2002), as well as Hong Kong (Laup 1991), Cambodia (Cowie 1995), Singapore (Ng et al. 1993), Guam (Smith 1992, Eldredge 1994), Papua New Guinea (Laup 1991, Eldredge 1994), and Sri Lanka (Cowie 2005). The species has subsequently become a serious rice pest in much of the region - in the Philippines it is considered the number one rice pest and has caused huge economic losses (Cowie 2005).The species has also been introduced to North America; into canals and ditches in southeast Florida (Thompson 1997, 1999), Texas, central Ohio (Ghesquiere 2001), North Carolina, Virginia (United States Geological Survey 2011), the Dominican Republic (Cowie 2005), Georgia (NatureServe 2009), Langan Park and Three Mile Creek in Mobile, Alabama (D. Shelton pers. comm. in United States Geological Survey 2011), a pond bordering the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta in Baldwin County, Alabama (United States Geological Survey 2011), Lake Miramar in San Diego County, California, a pond near Yuma, Arizona (United States Geological Survey 2011), and in Hawaii (Tran et al. 2008) first on Maui in 1989, followed by Lanai (Cowie 1996) and all of the main islands including Kaua'i, O'ahu, Molokai'i, Lana'i, Maui, Hawai'i (Cowie et al. 2007). In Hawaii the species has become widespread and is a major taro pest (Cowie 2005).
Pomacea canaliculata becomes sexually mature when 2.5 cm in diameter. Reproduction rates depend on environmental conditions and food availability. Reproduction is highest in the spring and summer and lowest in the fall and winter. Average clutch size is 200-600 eggs, laid every few weeks. Eggs are reddish in color and loosely attached to each other, and are attached to an object above surface. Eggs incubate from one to two weeks and after hatching, become juveniles in 15-25 days. The snails are sexually mature adults 45-59 days later. The reproductive period lasts from 2 months to 3 years; this period can decrease with latitude and environmental changes. Life cycles are shorter during good conditions when the snails remain reproductively active throughout the year. Life cycles are longer during tough conditions. When not reproducing because of harsh environmental conditions the channeled apple snails bury themselves in mud and decrease their metabolism while waiting for conditions to improve.
Development - Life Cycle: indeterminate growth
Ferguson, C. 2005. "The invasion of apple snails (Pomacea canaliculata) into Hawai'i: A case study in environmental problem solving" (On-line pdf). Accessed September 26, 2012 at http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/nrem/capstone/2005/applesnail2-last.pdf.
The shells of these applesnails are globular in shape. Normal coloration typically includes bands of brown, black, and yellowish-tan; color patterns are extremely variable. Albino and gold color variations exist.
The size of the shell is up to 150 mm in length.
The native distribution of P. canaliculata is basically tropical and subtropical, including Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. The southernmost record for the species is Paso de las Piedras reservoir, south of the Buenos Aires province, Argentina.
Drawing of the animal and the shell of Pomacea canaliculata
Pomacea canaliculata is extremely polyphagous, feeding on vegetal (primarily macrophytophagous, feeding on floating or submersed higher plants), detrital, and animal matter. Diet may vary with age, with younger smaller individuals feeding on algae and detritus, and older, bigger (15mm and above) individuals later shifting to higher plants.
This species negatively impacts rice and taro agriculture worldwide where it has been introduced.
The egg masses of Pomacea canaliculata are a bright pink or orange in color
Eggs of Pomacea canaliculata, scale bar in cm.
In temperate climates, the egg-laying period of this species extends from early spring to early fall. while in tropical areas reproduction is continuous. The duration of the reproductive period of P. canaliculata decreases with latitude, to a minimum of six months in the southern limit of its natural distribution.
In Northeast Thailand, these snails are collected and consumed. They are picked by hand or with a handnet from canals, swamps, ponds and flooded rice paddy fields during the rainy season. During the dry season when these snails are concealed under dried mud, collectors use a spade to scrape the mud in order to find them. The snails are usually collected by women and children. After collection, the snails are cleaned and parboiled. They are then taken out of their shells, cut, and cleaned in salted water. After rinsing with water, they are mixed with roasted rice, dried chili, lime juice, and fish sauce, and then eaten.
^Howells, R. Personal communication. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In: United States Geological Survey. 2008. Pomacea canaliculata. USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Revision Date: 2/4/2008
^ abcdeUnited States Geological Survey. 2008. Pomacea canaliculata. USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Revision Date: 2/4/2008
^Ihering H. (1919). "Las especies de Ampullaria' en la Argentina". I Reunión Nac Soc Arg Cs Nat (Actas): 329-350, Tucumán, Argentina.
^Cowie R. H., Thiengo S. C. (2003): The apple snails of the Americas (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Ampullariidae: Asolene, Felipponea, Marisa, Pomacea, Pomella): a nomenclatural and type catalog. Malacologia, 45:41-100
^ abMartín P. R., Estebenet A. L., Cazzaniga N. J. (2001). Factors affecting the distribution of Pomacea canaliculata (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae) along its southernmost natural limit. Malacologia 43: 13-23.
^Jackson, Douglas; Jackson Donald (2009). "Registro de Pomacea canaliculata (LAMARCK, 1822) (AMPULLARIIDAE), molusco exótico para el norte de Chile". Gayana 73 (1): 40–44. doi:10.4067/s0717-65382009000100006.
^Estebenet, A. L. & Martín, P. R. (2002). Pomacea canaliculata (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae): Life-history Traits and their Plasticity. Biocell, 26(1): 83-89. ISSN 0327 - 9545
^Bachmann, A. (1960). Apuntes para una hidrobiología argentina. II. Ampullaria insularum Orb. y A. canaliculata Lam. (Moll. Prosobr., Ampullaridae). Observaciones biológicas y ecológicas. I Congr Sudamer Zool (Actas): 19-26, La Plata, Argentina.
^Dreon M. S., Ituarte S. & Heras H. (2010). "The Role of the Proteinase Inhibitor Ovorubin in Apple Snail Eggs Resembles Plant Embryo Defense against Predation". PLoS ONE 5(12): e15059. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015059.
^Yusa, Y, 2001. Predation on eggs of the apple snail Pomacea canaliculata (Gastropoda: Ampullaridae) by the fire ant Solenopsis geminata. Journal of Molluscian Studies, 67: 275-279
^Plan MR, Saska I, Cagauan AG, Craik DJ"Backbone cyclised peptides from plants show molluscicidal activity against the rice pest Pomacea canaliculata (golden apple snail)." J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jul 9;56(13):5237-41