GIANT AFRICAN SNAIL (Achatina fulica) - ©Rob Nunnington/Arkive
INVASIVE. Grows to 20 cm/nearly 8” in length. Within its natural East African range, the giant African snail is abundant in forest margins. Elsewhere, this species appears to be well adapted to modified habitats, including plantations, gardens, as well as invading primary and secondary forest. The giant African snail also occurs in agricultural areas, along the edges of streams and rivers, in scrublands, and in urban areas.
The giant African snail is a hermaphrodite, meaning that each individual has both male and female reproductive organs. In order to reproduce, the two individuals must engage in a reproductive behaviour known as ‘reciprocal copulation’, where sperm from one snail is used to fertilise the eggs in the other, and vice versa, so both snails leave the scene with fertilized eggs.
Mainly active at night, the giant African snail feeds on living or dead plant matter from as many as 500 different plant species, including many economically valuable crops such as cabbage, cauliflower, cacao and banana, as well as many others.
Fact Source: http://www.arkive.org/giant-african-snail/achatina-fulica/#text=Biology
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