dsc_16271This is a list of behavioral traits of Pomacea insularum that we have noted in NW Florida. Please let us know what you have observed and we will add it to the list:

1. Snails are attracted to certain foods and can be easily trapped.

2. Snails begin to aestivate in early October and emerge in early April in NW Florida.

3. Initially at least, a waterbody can support a very large biomass of snails.

4. Copper kills snails at higher rates. Snails come to the surface at lower rates and are easy to collect.

5. Snails can rapidly control ballast. They can drop quickly in the water column to avoid predation.

6. The snails are gregarious. Sex pheromones?

7. The snails will dig into sediments to eat roots, even uprooting large emersed plants, i.e. Sagittaria.

8. Egg laying begins abruptly in early May in NW Florida.

9. The snails are most active at night.

10. A rapid rise in water level may reduce egg laying.

11. The snails are opportunistic, omnivorous feeders. They prefer soft vegetation but can eat meat, even cannibalism has been observed.

12. Snails can move upstream by crawling and downstream by floating.

13. Flooding exacerbates range expansion.

14. Snails can windrow via wave action, especially juveniles.

15. Snails seem susceptible to low dissolved oxygen levels. They come to the surface via shoreline sediments or emersed plants and extend a “snorkel” in period of low D.O.

16. Electrofishing, even at high settings, is not lethal to snails.

17. When surface water temperatures suddenly drop from high levels, as in after a summer rainstorm, the snails will move from deeper water toward the shore & are available for physical removal.

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About Snail Busters

The Snail Busters Blog was created to facilitate communication between aquatic resource managers who are fighting the spread of invasive, South American apple snails, specifically Pomacea maculata (formerly P. insularum) and P. canaliculata, in the U.S.

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