Golden apple snail: The dangerous pest on rice

Common names: Golden snail (English)Golden apple snail (English),Channeled applesnail (English), Apple snail (English), Gelbe Apfelschnecke (German), Golden kuhol (English-Philippines), Miracle snail (English-Philippines).
Scientific name: Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck, 1819)
Synonyms: Ampullaria canaliculata Lamarck, 1822



clade Caenogastropoda
informal group Architaenioglossa
Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck, 1819)
The Family of apple snails (Ampullariidae J. E. Gray, 1824) has 105-170 freshwater species with 9 genera  and more than 150 nominal species. The Synonyms of this family is Pilidae.
This family consists of two subfamilies (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005), that used classification by Berthold (1991):
-Tribe Ampullariini Gray, 1824 – synonyms: Pilidae Preston, 1915 (inv.); Lanistimae Starobogatov, 1983; Pomaceinae Starobogatov, 1983.
-Tribe Sauleini Berthold, 1991.
There are 9 extant genera in the family Ampullariidae:
+Tribe Ampullariini Gray
Ampullaria , Pila, Lanistes, Pomacea.
+Tribe Sauleini: Saulea , Asolene, Felipponea,  Marisa , Pomella .
The Golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata is classified under the canaliculata  complex. This is a groups of very closely related species which are very variable in size and appearance.
The relative species:
-Pomacea diffusa.
Pomacea paludosa.
-Pomacea patula catemacensis Baker
-Pomacea maculata, raremy makes its way

Origin and distribution of the golden apple snails (GAS)

The GAS Pomacea canaliculata is widely distributed in the lentic habitats throughout the Amazon Inferior Basin and the Plata Basin: Southeast Brazil, Argentina,Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. GAS Pomacea canaliculata is one of the most Southern America occuring.
Pomacea canaliculata is a species of large freshwater snail with gills and an operculum, an aquatic gastropod mollusk in the family Ampullariidae, the apple snails.
Native range: temperate Argentina northwards to the Amazon basin. 
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.
Non-indigennous distribution
This species also occurs in the United States, where the initial introductions were probably from aquarium release, aka “aquarium dumping”. The non-indigenous distribution includes: Langan Park and Three Mile Creek in Mobile, Alabama; a pond bordering the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta in Baldwin County, Alabama ; Little Wekiva River, Orlando, Florida; a lake near Jacksonville, Florida; Lake Mirimar in San Diego County, California; a pond near Yuma, Arizona; and numerous locations in Hawaii. Established populations exist in California and Hawaii.
Introduced range:
Last decades GAS Pomacea canaliculata has spread to South-East Asia and can now be found in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, southern China, Japan and the Philippines. The snail also invaded in the Southern parts of theUSA (Texas and Florida, upto central Ohio) and is expected to spread futher in the comming years. Possibly the species is making its way to Australia too. 
Most of southern, eastern and south-east Asia, including the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Korea, Sri Lanka, parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, southern China, Singapore; also Hawai‘i, Guam, and Papua New Guinea; the Dominican Republic; the USA (Florida, Texas, California).
The species has been found in China since 1981. Its initial point of distribution in China was Zhongshan city.
Pomacea canaliculata is also a very common in the aquarium trade, but its voracious appetite gives the GAS family in general a bad reputation in the aquarium hobby. 
Genera Pomacea are New World genera (native to South America, Central America, the West Indies and the Southern U.S.A.).The genera Afropomus, Lanistes, and Saulea are found in Africa.The genus Pila is native to both Africa and Asia.


-Organism type: mollusc
Pomacea canaliculata is a freshwater snail with a voracious appetite for water plants including lotus, water chestnut, taro and rice. Introduced widely from its native South America by the aquarium trade and as a source of human food, it is a major crop pest in south east Asia (primarily in rice) and Hawaii (taro) and poses a serious threat to many wetlands around the world through potential habitat modification and competition with native species.
-Body: The colour of the body varies from yellow (cultivated), brown to nearly black, with yellow spots on the siphon, but not as much on the mouth as in. When at rest, the tentacles are curled under the shell.
-Shell description
The shells of these apple snails 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 can be up to 75  mm in length.
The shell of this apple snail species is globose and relatively heavy (especially in older snails). The 5 to 6 whorls are separated by a deep, indented suture (hence the name ‘canaliculata’ or ‘channeled’). The shell opening (aperture) is large and oval to round. Males are known to have a rounder aperture than females. The umbilicus is large and deep. The overal shell shape is similar to that of Pomacea lineata, except the deeper sutures and more globose shape in canaliculata. 
The size of these snails varies from 40 to 60 mm wide and 45 to 75 mm high depending on the conditions. 
The colour varies completely yellow and green (cultivated forms) to brown with or without dark spiral bands (wild form). The shell growth of this species occurs mainly in spring and summer, while it stagnates in fall and winter.
Large (up to 7 cm), more or less globular freshwater snails. Aquarium trade snails are often smaller. Shell colour generally brownish or greenish, often with spiral banding patterns around the whorls. Some aquarium bred animals are bright golden yellow. Body colour can vary from dark, almost black to pale cream. Their presence is often first noted by observation of their bright pink egg masses laid on solid surfaces up to about 50cm above the water surface.
-Operculum: The operculum is moderately thick and corneous. The structure is concentric with the nucleus near the centre of the shell. The colour varies light (in young snails) to dark brown. The operculum can be retracted in the aperture (shell opening).  
-Eggs: The reddish (due to the high carotenoid content) eggs are loosely attached to each other. They are attached on object above the waterline and their size varies from 2.20 to 3.5 mm (0.09 to 0.14 inch) diameter. An average clutch contains 200 to 600 eggs.
Pomacea canaliculata depositing the eggs on a trunk.
Eggs of the non-native Pomacea canaliculata on a rock at the border of the Kranji Reservoir, Singapore (12/9/2000).
Note that the bright orange colour is hidden by the dry surface.
Pomacea canaliculata is more likely to eat your plants, which makes it less suitable for most aquaria. These snails also come in different shell and body colours.
Original Article Here
Muhammad Ramzan Rafique
Muhammad Ramzan Rafique

I am from a small town Chichawatni, Sahiwal, Punjab , Pakistan, studied from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, on my mission to explore world I am in Denmark these days..

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