The Giant African Land Snail (Lissachatina fulica) is a large mollusk in the Achatinidae family.
They are macrophytophagous herbivores, which means that they eat a wide range of plant material, fruit, and vegetables.
The Giant African Land Snail can grow to 7 centimetres (2.8 inches) long. The shell is conical with colours that depend on the snail’s location, diet, and surroundings.
Giant African Land Snails are hermaphroditic, having both male and female reproductive organs.
If two snails are similar size they can reproduce bilaterally (two ways). If they are different sizes they can reproduce unilaterally (one way) with the larger individual acting as the female.
The female Giant African Land Snail lays up to 200 eggs per clutch five to six times a year. The eggs hatch and reach full size in about six months.
They can be eaten as food, but are regarded as an environmental and agricultural pest (an invasive species) when introduced into other countries.
They are a pest because they damage agricultural crops and native plants. It is listed in the top 100 invasive species in the world.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM