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Invasive Species: Giant African Snail

Giant African Snail

(Lissachatina fulica)
*Not established in Michigan*


Report this species:

Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool

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  • Very large – about the size of an average-sized adult fist.
  • Shells can reach 20 cm (8 in) in length and 10 cm (4 in) in diameter.
  • Shell is brownish with dark brown vertical stripes on at least half of the length of the shell.
  • Coloration lightens to almost white at the tip of the shell.

giant african snail
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zimmerman, USDA APHIS,

giant african snail
Photo courtesy of Yuri,

giant african snail
Photo courtesy of David G. Robinson, USDA APHIS PPQ,

Diet: Giant African snails have a large appetite and consume at least 500 different types of plants. They will eat fruits, vegetables, or even bark.

Habitat: These terrestrial snails thrive in tropical and subtropical areas. While warmer climate areas with abundant agricultural resources are ideal habitats in the United States, this species can survive cold and snowy conditions similar to those in Michigan.

Native Range: Believed to originate in East Africa.

Local Concern: Giant African snails pose a serious health risk to humans as this species may be infected with a parasite that causes meningitis. The damage to important food and other agricultural crops and natural resources is another concern. If preferred vegetation is not available, these snails may consume paint and stucco on houses.

Potential Means of Introduction: Importation as pets or for education, accidental importation via cargo.


Giant African Snail Invasive Species Alert - Printable PDF