Comparison of invasive apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) behaviors in different water temperature gradients.
Pomacea canaliculata (known as invasive apple snail) is a freshwater snail native to South America that was introduced into many countries (including Asia and North America) as a food source or for organic farming systems. However, it has invaded freshwater ecosystems and become a serious agricultural pest in paddy fields. Water temperature is an important factor determining behavior and successful establishment in new areas. We examined the behavioral responses of P. canaliculata with water temperature changes from 25°C to 30°C, 20°C, and 15°C by quantifying changes in nine behaviors. At the acclimated temperature (25°C), the mobility of P. canaliculata was low during the day, but high at night. Clinging behavior increased as the water temperature decreased from 25°C to 20°C or 15°C. Conversely, ventilation and food consumption increased when the water temperature increased from 25°C to 30°C. A self-organizing map (an unsupervised artificial neural network) was used to classify the behavioral patterns into seven clusters at different water temperatures. These results suggest that the activity levels or certain behaviors of P. canaliculata vary with the water temperature conditions. Understanding the thermal biology of P. canaliculata may be crucial for managing this invasive snail.