Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Go With The Flow

Residents of Cape Coral, Florida are incensed that invasive snails have taken over their water pipes. The News-Press is reporting that Mayan snails (Melanoides tuberculatus) have invaded the pipes used to deliver irrigation water to the city, and are causing everything from reduced flows to complete clogs. While the filters used for the irrigation system are designed to catch anything 5 microns or larger, the snails have no trouble passing through at their larval stage. The city is responding by blasting the water with large doses of chlorine, but no one is sure whether the treatment will be successful. Since the irrigation system also supplies water to the city's fire hydrants, here's hoping they get the situation under control soon.

Update: Andrew B. points out that they probably meant to call it "Malay snail," as in Malaysia, and points out this helpful link.

3 comments:

budak said...

heh.. how did they come up with Mayan for an Asian snail...

Jennifer Forman Orth said...

I'm actually not sure. They could have mucked it up - Googling shows little else using that name. The most typical common name for Melanoides tuberculatus is "red-rim melania."

genghisprawn said...

The article is no longer available, but something here doesn't add up. Melanoides tuberculata are internally-brooding snails without a larval stage. The newborn young, while tiny, are more on the scale of millimeters than microns. Apparently, the filters are not doing their duty.