Snail-pace, a paradox in speed: Infestation of the giant African snail (Achatina fulica) in peri-urban horticulture of Bengaluru

ABRAHAM VERGHESE, RAKSHITHA MOULY

Abstract


The giant African snail Achatina fulica (Bowdich)(Stylommatophora: Achatinidae) has an aura of enigma around it. During the last six months, we observed these snails in urban and terrace gardens in the city of Bengaluru (12° 57’ N, E77° 38’ E, 965 MSL). Its occurrence in Bengaluru (earlier Bangalore) was first reported in 1979 by Veeresh et al. (1979) more than a century after two specimens were introduced in a garden in Calcutta (Kolkata) by William Henry Benson in 1847. Since then it is assumed it had spread all over India, and much of Asia! The proof is genetic closeness, it seems, of all snails to the original halotype of Kolkata specimens


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