The current status of invasive apple snails, Pomacea spp., in Malaysia: a short review.
Freshwater snails of the genus Pomacea, commonly known as apple snails, are native to South America, but have been introduced (intentionally and unintentionally) into many regions for various reasons. This invasive snail was unintentionally introduced into Malaysia as early as 1992. It is one of the most successful invaders of freshwaters and has a major impact on aquatic habitats, especially rice fields, where it destroys the growing stems of paddy, consequently causing massive economic losses. This invasive apple snail has spread and is widely distributed throughout Malaysian aquatic habitats including traditional and commercial rice fields, irrigation and drainage canals, rivers and tributaries, and wetlands, including those in Sabah and Sarawak, Borneo. Strategies have been devised and action undertaken by various government agricultural agencies, universities and research institutions to control and manage the infestations and invasions of apple snails in the rice fields. The impact of apple snail damage on rice fields in Malaysia has been extensively documented. However, more action should be taken to determine why invasive apple snails have become so successfully established, to be able to predict their future spread and impact.