Giant African Land Snails like Achatina fulica and Achatina achatina are the biggest land snails in the world! They reach some 8 inches long and sometimes even longer.
They’re also extremely invasive. While they’re native to sub-Saharan Africa, they’ve spread to warm, humid areas all over the world.
They get taken over as pets or as a food source and if they escape, they’re able to live in a huge variety of habitats and feed on a vast menu of fruit and vegetables.
They’re truly a most unexpected invasion. I would’ve assumed that the biggest land snail in the world would be some rare species endemic to a remote southeast Asian island that can only be visited by hitching a lift on a fishing boat.
Instead, they’re a global pest species!
Images: Grzegorz Polak/Arthur Chapman/Schneckenmama/Sonel.SA