The pest of the Giant African Snail Lissachatina fulica is spreading… A new report confirms its presence now in Havana, Cuba.
The giant African snail, Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica (Bowdich 1822), is considered one of the worst invasive alien species in the world. This mollusc is also a concern to public health because it can serve as an intermediate host of the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, a causative agent of eosinophilic meningoencephalitis in humans. This is the first record of A. fulica in Cuba, where it is found in an urban area of Havana where it has become established in an area of about 1 km². Parasitological analyses revealed that all A. fulica were infected with An. cantonensis with an average 50 third-stage larvae in 3 cm² of snail mantle. The eventual spread of A. fulica to other regions in Cuba through natural or human-mediated ways could result in damage to autochthonous flora and fauna as well as becoming a serious issue for public health and the economy.
Vázquez, A.A. & Sánchez, J., 2015. First record of the invasive land snail Achatina(Lissachatina) fulica (Bowdich, 1822) (Gastropoda: Achatinidae), vector of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda: Angiostrongylidae), in Havana, Cuba. – Molluscan Research 35: 139-142.