Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract Full Text

Identity, reproductive potential, distribution, ecology and management of invasive Pomacea maculata in the southern United States.


Established populations of introduced Pomacea maculata, a highly fecund, large species of apple snail native to South America, now occur throughout southeast Asia, in Spain and extensively across the southern United States. Substantial research on non-native apple snails takes place in Southeast Asia and has frequently identified apple snails as P. canaliculata. That these Asian populations represent at least two Pomacea species, P. canaliculata and P. maculata, has been confirmed through anatomical and genetic evidence. However, the two species are often still confused because of their similar shell morphologies and life history traits. This contribution reviews the distribution, life history, ecology and management of P. maculata introduced to the southern USA. So far the agricultural impacts of P. maculata in the USA fail to match those of non-native applesnails elsewhere, but the invasion of wetlands by this species suggests the need for increased vigilance to prevent further spread and avoid the ecological impacts that have been associated elsewhere with P. canaliculata.