The Giant African Land Snail (Lissachatina fulica) is a large mollusc in the Achatinidae family.
It is regarded as an environmental and agricultural pest (an invasive species) when it is introduced into other countries in other continents. The photographed snail was found in south-east Asia, in Cambodia. It is a pest because it damages agricultural crops and native plants. It is listed in the top 100 invasive species in the world.
The shell is conical with light-brown and cream markings, depending on its location, diet, and surroundings.
The Giant African Land Snail can grow to 7 centimetres (2.8 inches) long.
It is a macrophytophagous herbivore, which means that it eats a wide range of plant material, fruit, and vegetables.
It is hermaphroditic, having both male and female reproductive organs. If two snails are similar in 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. The eggs hatch and reach full adult size in about six months.
Location of photographs: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM