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Human uses from Golden apple snails (GAS)




  • Use as a human food item

    In Veracruz, Mexico, there is a subspecies of apple snail known as P.patula catemacensis Baker, 1922. This subspecies is endemic to Lake Catemaco. This large snail is locally known as “tegogolo” and is prized as a food item.
    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.
    Note! Parasites in Golden apple snails
    In China and Southeast Asia, consumption of raw or undercooked snails of Pomacea canaliculata and other snails is the primary route of infection with Angiostrongylus cantonensis causing angiostrongyliasis.
    This parasite can infect humans if snails are eaten that have not been thoroughly cooked first. Approximately 1.0 % of the Pomacea canaliculata on sale on local markets in Dali City, Yunnan, China were found to be infected with Angiostrongylus cantonensis in 2009.

    Use as a common aquarium animal

    In the 1980s, GAS Pomacea canaliculata was introduced in Taiwan to start an escargot industry. It was thought that such food culture could provide valuable proteins for farmers, who primarily live on a rice diet. However, the snails did not become a culinary success.
    Hawaii experienced the same introduction of Pomacea for culinary purposes, and its taro industry is now suffering because of it.
    The common GAS is Pomacea canaliculata; this snail is more likely to eat aquatic plants, which makes it less suitable for most aquaria. This species can also have different shell and body colours.
    This species is considered to be in the top 100 of the “World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species”.

    Use as a bio-control agent

    Pomacea and Marisa species have been introduced to Africa and Asia in an attempt to control other medically problematic snails in the family Planorbidae: Bulinus species and Biophalaria species, which serve as intermediate hosts for trematoda parasites. These parasites can cause swimmers itch and schistosomiasis, a disease that affects over 200 million people in tropical regions. One of the species introduced as bio-agent is Marisa cornuarietis; this snail competes with other snails and also directly preys on other species.
    Original Article Here

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