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Apple Snails


my nemo

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  • Regular Member

today I went to my local vvvv. I asked them if they had any apple snails and the guy that worked there told me that they were illegal. I asked why and he said he doesn't know yet and he just heard it. I live in california. Is this true?

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  • Regular Member

I live in California too and they are most certainly not illegal here! We sell them every week in our store. I think what that guy meant is that yes, they are illegal in certain areas, and certain kinds are. It depends where you are and what kind you have in the wild. I know in Asia they are considered a pest snail because they just chow down on plants. I dont know of anywhere in the US that they are illegal, though.

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If released into the wild in the right area (they are tropical and sub-tropical animals), they can become a major pest, destroying local plants.

Since August of 2001, they have been identified as major pests and are illegal to own or sell in the following five states:

California

Florida

Texas

Hawaii

North Carolina

Here is the entire regulation:

MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE

BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY

P. O. BOX 5207

MISSISSIPPI STATE, MISSISSIPPI 39762

EMERGENCY APPLESNAIL REGULATION

RULE 39. (Adopted 9-12-01). In order to prevent the introduction and spread within the State of Mississippi of the destructive plant eating applesnails of the family Ampullariidae which can seriously affect ornamental and various other types of nursery stock, as well as many other plants, and in order to eradicate the applesnail were it to be introduced, the Bureau of Plant Industry, Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce under the provisions of Sections 69-25-7, 69-25-9, 69-25-17, 69-25-19, 69-25-23, 69-25-25 and 69-25-35, Mississippi Code 1972, does declare and give public notice thereof that the movement of live forms of this pest into or within the State of Mississippi in any stage of development is hereby prohibited.

1. Pest - Applesnails of the family Ampullariidae.

2. Quarantine Area

California - The entire state

Florida - The entire state

Texas - The entire state

Hawaii - The entire state

North Carolina - The entire state and other states or territories hereinafter which may be found to be infested.

3. Regulated Articles - No common carrier or other person shall move intrastate from any regulated area any of the following articles, except in accordance with the conditions in this regulation: The applesnails (family Ampullariidae) in any living stage of development. Ornamentals, nursery stocks, or any other plants, soil, sand, peat, or any other articles which may be responsible for movement of the applesnail.

4. Conditions Governing Shipment

A. Regulated articles from the quarantined area will be prohibited entry into the State of Mississippi, unless each shipment is accompanied by a certificate issued by and bearing the signature of the quarantine official of the state where shipment originated, certifying that it has been determined by competent, official survey that the regulated articles contained in the shipment were inspected and found to be free of applesnails and that, further, the pest is not known to exist in the nursery or site from which the shipment or regulated articles originated.

B. Each shipment of nursery stock from an infested nursery or other regulated articles from an infested site must be accompanied by a standard Phytosanitary Export Certificate issued by the plant quarantine official of the state of origin where the shipment originated certifying that the shipment has been fumigated in a gas tight chamber with methyl bromide at a rate of 2 1/2 pounds per 1,000 cubic feet at 70? F. or above for two hours, or with HCN at a rate of 25cc per 100 cubic feet for one hour at 50? F. to 85? F. A copy of the Phytosanitary Export Certificate must accompany the shipment with the usual state of origin nursery tag or certificate with one copy of the Phytosanitary Export Certificate being mailed to the State Entomologist, Bureau of Plant Industry, P.O. Box 5207, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762.

5. Infested Shipments Arriving in Mississippi Nursery stock or other regulated articles arriving in Mississippi from an infested state without proper certification will be held under quarantine for proper certification or returned to the shipper at his expense unless infested with living brown garden snails or other dangerous plant pests. If infested, the shipment will be destroyed or fumigated at the shipper's expense, provided, the infestation can be eliminated without hazard of spread during treatment. If fumigation is necessary, the Bureau of Plant Industry nor its employees or agents, will in any way be held responsible for injury to regulated articles which might result from such fumigation.

6. Emergency Authority - In view of the specific facts and reasons above mentioned, and in accordance with the provisions of Sections 25-43-7 paragraph (2) and 69-25-7, Mississippi Code 1972 and laws amendatory thereto, the Commissioner of Agriculture through the Bureau of Plant Industry does hereby find an immediate danger to the public health, safety and welfare exists and declares a quarantine on applesnail host plants and materials as set forth in this emergency rule hereby promulgated.

7. Revision

This regulation may be revised or amended at any time as conditions and circumstances warrant.

8. This rule shall take effect and be in force from and after August 22, 2001, or after filing with Secretary of State, if later.

From applesnail.net:

In the 1980's, apple snails from the genus Pomacea (like Pomacea canaliculata) were introduced in Taiwan to start an escargot industry. Such an escargot industry would have provided protein for the local population, especially useful for the farmers, who primary live on a rice diet, low in proteins. But the snails didn't become the culinary success as was hoped for and it also became quickly clear that the imported apple snails (Pomacea) were also able to transfer the Angiostrongylus cantonensis (rat lungworm) parasite just like the native apple snail population (Pila). This parasite spends a part of its life cycle in apple snails and can infect humans when the snail isn't cooked long enough before consumption. 

Instead of becoming a useful food source they escaped to the rice fields, they became a serious pest, posing a real threat to the rice production and the environment in general. During the 1980's the introduced apple snails rapidly spread to Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, southern China, Japan and the Philippines and there are indications that they are invading Australia right at this moment.

Nevertheless, apple snails are considered a delicacy in several regions and they are often sold in Oriental markets for consumption.

In 1989 Pomacea canaliculata was introduced in Hawaii to serve as a food source and as well did they enter as a pet through the aquarium trade. The snails that escaped to the wild quickly became a serious pest in the taro and rice fields. Although a few restaurants serve them, the apple snail didn't become a great gastronomic success here either.

Apple snails are also introduced in several regions in Africa and Asia to control snails (Planorbidae: Bulinus sp. and Biophalaria sp.) which serves as an intermediate host for trematoda parasites. These parasites can cause swimmers itch and schistosomiasis, a disease that affects over 200 million people in tropical regions. Despite the fact these tremadote parasites do not complete their life cycle in apple snails, apple snails themselves can carry these parasites and nematodes of the genus Angiostrongylus. Angiostrongylus cantonensis can afflict humans and cause eosinophilic meningoenchephalitis.

One of the snails that are introduced to control snail populations is Marisa cornuarietis (Columbian ramshorn snail). This apple snail is able to successfully compete with other snails and even predates on them. Hopefully Marisa snails are less likely to become a pest for the food production than the Pomacea species do. 

Conclusion: The recent spread of apple snails over the world and their ability to become a pest illustrates the dangers that come along the introduction of non-native species. It should be clear that this is the main reason why many countries have very strict rules when it comes to importing foreign animals like apple snails (and other animals).

It can't be stated enough: never release your apple snails in local ponds, rivers or whatsoever!

Links:

http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/~pi/plantinsp...SnailMainx.html

http://www.applesnail.net

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  • Regular Member

Wow, that is really interesting and informative and I had no idea there was a ban on them. Im very confused however because I live in California and like I said before, we sell them on a weekly basis. It may be just a particular species of apple snail. And there are several varieties that look very similar but arent, ie one of them with a slightly elongated shell is the one that doesnt eat plants. But they all look so close you'd have to really know them to be able to differentiate them.

The species I know for a fact I own is pomacea Bridgesi (sp?). I bought him a year and a half ago at vvvv. At our store we get a variety of colors in and theyre all labeled as apple snails/mystery snails. Ive heard that those terms are used interchangeably and that just really adds to the confusion.

I really dont know which ones are illegal because as I write I know for a fact we have tons in stock right now. I believe ours are shipped in from Asia, so maybe thats why we can sell them. I think its like with native fish (minnows, mosquitofish) we have to get them from somewhere else other than here, so people cant go out in the wild and collect them and sell them. Anyway thanks for bringing this up and Im really interested in learning more about it.

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Guest Cheese Specialist

jsrtist,

Do you know where I could get an aquarium snail of some sort (preferably the one you mentioned that doesn't eat plants!) in or sent to the UK? I can't find them anywhere! I really like the idea of having a snail in my tank, or on second thoughts... is that a good idea with clown loaches? :unsure:

Thanks for any advice/info!

P.S. Gorgeous avatar fishy

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Eeek! NOT with clown loaches! Snails are their natural food!!! :unsure: Get those snails out of there if you dont want them to be eaten.

No, Im not sure of where you could get snails sent to the UK. We have strict mailing rules here and I think you guys do, too. You may be able to find a place online to order them, though you would probably have a hard time finding the specific non-plant-eating apple snail! You'd probably have to go by scientific names and I cant get the apple snail website to work so I cant look it up?

BTW thank you for the comment on the fish in my avatar. That was my comet Right? who I had for about 8 1/2 years and sadly I lost her this summer. I still think shes the prettiest fish Ive ever seen and I miss her a lot.

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Guest Cheese Specialist
BTW thank you for the comment on the fish in my avatar. That was my comet Right? who I had for about 8 1/2 years and sadly I lost her this summer. I still think shes the prettiest fish Ive ever seen and I miss her a lot.

Yes, it was for you and your fishy! Sorry to hear she's no longer around. At least you've got a picture!

My 'pest' snails are not in my tropical tank, they're by themselves. Maybe the loaches are the reason I have only ever found 3 'pest' snails in that tank and it was before they arrived on the scene?! :ymmu I'm sure people always say "when you find one, you'll find loads more" or something similar!

:)

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LOL Im telling! Oh well I have one too. :P I asked my manager if he knew anything about it, since he does all the ordering, and he said he hadnt heard anythign about it. Hes still able to order them and we get them in every week! They wouldnt send them to us if theyre illegal. So Im guessing it may just be one very specific type or something thats illegal, but thats my best guess.

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I bought a bridgesi (sp.) last year at vvvv - not illegal here in NC as far as I know. I get all my info from applesnail.net Thanks for the news on the ban - that's very interesting!

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  • Regular Member

I was told they are legal here but that the wild life people came around and asked them not to sell them in the pet stores. You can still find them in some pet stores though. I ordered mine on the internet. I well not be flushing live snails or puting them in the ponds they are in my tank and they well stay there.

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  • Regular Member

Im sure they woudl ship just fine. We get a shipment of them every week and they just pack about 30 of them in a bag. Sometimes some die but for the most part they survive. Feel free to take a road trip down here!! :) We get our shipments on Thursday evenings.

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  • 6 months later...
  • Regular Member

Yes you can..

Canas are illegal in California, but I believe Brigs are a bit iffy. However, there's not exactly police doing raids to see if you have illegal snails.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

I live in CA and purchased a Japanese trapdoor snail because the LFS told me the apple snails are illegal. I don't know much about Japanese trapdoor snails except they bear live young and are not hermaphrodites. Mine was a smaller snail, about a penny in size.

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  • 5 weeks later...
Guest luvryukin

Hi:

I am new to this site. I have only been a member for about a week. I reside in North Carolina also. Considering that it's 2004, does anyone have or know any updates of the legality of apple snails. I think if I win the bid on aqua bid, I am going to give it a shot. Have to try sometimes. I think the apple snail is only an "1.

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