Distribution, feeding behavior and control strategies of the exotic land snail Achatina fulica (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) in the northeast of Brazil

Braz J Biol. 2008 Nov;68(4):837-42. doi: 10.1590/s1519-69842008000400020.


The goal of this study was to document the distribution and establishment A. fulica such as their feeding preference and behavior in situ. The study was carried out at the city of Lauro de Freitas, Bahia state, Brazil, between November 2001 and November 2002. We used catch per unit effort methods to determine abundance, distribution, habitat choice and food preferences. The abundance and distribution of A. fulica was most representative in urban area, mainly near to the coastline. Lots and house gardens were the most preferred sites during active hours. The results indicated that A. fulica started their activity at the end of the evening and stopped in mid-morning. Their preferred food were vascular plants such as Hibiscus syriacus, Ricinus communis, Carica papaya, Galinsonga coccinea, Lippia alba, Ixora coccinea, Musa parasidisiaca, Mentha spicata and Cymbopogon citrates. Our results indicate that A. fulica are well adapted and established in this city and modified environments facilitate their establishment and dispersion. However, human perturbation, such as clearance of lots could be limiting for the persistence of A. fulica populations.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Population Density
  • Population Dynamics
  • Seasons
  • Snails / physiology*