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Island Applesnail - Exotic


Scientific Name:
Pomacea insularum
Common Name: Island Applesnail

Exotic from South America. Found in tributaries to the Mobile Delta. Usually lives in areas with little to moderate current. Can breathe air. Deposits pink eggs above the water line; eggs may be destroyed by scrapping them into the water.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Rsources and US Fish and Wildlife Service has worked with the City of Mobile and Mobile Baykeeper to control the population of Island Applesnail populations in Langan Municipal Park Lake and Threemile Creek in Mobile and in a private lake in Spanish Fort. Control measures include trapping adult and juvenile snails, manual removal and destruction of applesnail eggs (pink), and treating the water with low levels of copper.

It is not expected that this effort will completely eradicate the Island Applesnails from Langan Municipal Park Lake or Threemile Creek.  A long term monitoring and control program will be needed to successfully keep the Island Applesnail from expanding its range in Alabama and threatening other aquatic habitats.

from the ANS Task Force Website:
WHAT YOU CAN DO: A similar species, Pomacea bridgesii, is a popular aquarium species that is not known to be invasive. However, this species, also non-native, is difficult to distinguish from the invasive applesnails. If you insist on keeping non-native snails, do so in an aquarium and not in outdoor ornamental ponds. Do not release any aquaria species in the natural environment. If you no longer want your pet, return it to a local pet shop for resale or trade, give it to another hobbyist, or donate it to a school, nursing home, or hospital. Remove all plant fragments, rinse any mud or debris from equipment and wading gear, and drain any water from boats before leaving an access area. The transportation of plant fragments on boats, trailers, and in live wells is one of the main introduction routes of snails and other aquatic invasive species to new lakes and rivers. General aquatic nuisance species prevention: Do not release aquarium pets or live food into the environment. Never dump live fish, e.g. bait buckets, from one body of water into another body of water. (Releasing bait is illegal in Alabama.) Always drain water from your boat, live well, and bilge before leaving any water access.

Note: In Alabama it is illegal to release from aquaria, stock or move any fish, mussel, snail or crayfish into any public water without a permit.

Official Web site of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
©2008 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources   |   64 N. Union Street, Suite 468 - Montgomery, Alabama 36130