Giant Snails Found in Miami

16 September 2011

Specimens of giant African snail of land have been detected in Miami, which has set off alarm bells, since it is one of the most damaging animal world, capable of causing structural damage in buildings and to cause meningitis in humans. 

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Florida confirmed today that it has positively identified a population of these molluscs in Miami-Dade County. “The snail giant African land is one of the most damaging snails in the world because they consume at least 500 different types of plants, can cause structural damage to plaster and stucco, and even carry a nematode parasite that can cause meningitis in humans, “said the agency. 

This animal, called Achatina fulica, is one of the largest land snails in the world, reaches 20 inches long and over ten in diameter. Each copy, which can live for nine years, contains the reproductive organs of both sexes and in a production can produce up to 400 eggs, so that in a normal year each gets half a thousand 200 eggs. The Achatina fulica is originally from East Africa and has established along the Indo-Pacific basin, including Hawaiian Islands. 

This pest has also been introduced in the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, with the recent detection in St. Lucia and Barbados. “The latest outbreak detected and eradicated in Florida occurred in 1966 when a child brought to smuggle three Miami as pets, “said the Florida Department of Agriculture in a statement. Shortly thereafter, “the boy’s grandmother released the snails in your garden and seven years later there were more than 18 000 snails, a plague that took ten years to eradicate and more than a million dollars. ” “That’s the only known case of successful eradication of the giant African snail,” say the authorities in Florida, asking for citizen cooperation to detect additional copies.