Monday, October 16, 2006

Dead Ringers

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that biologists have found a larger version of the channeled apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) sliming its way around Florida. The island channeled apple snail is such a close relative that it is unclear how to morphologically distinguish the two - I'm not even clear about whether they are separate species or subspecies (This report from 2005 indicates that the confusion has been a long time in the making). Surprisingly, DNA testing suggests that many of the snails previously identified as channeled apple snails are in fact the larger, island taxon. Scientists have pledged to continue to study the giant aquatic snails in hopes of learning enough about their habits and biology to be able to control their spread.


The Apostrophe Cop said...

Somebody in Louisiana released aquarium snails into their outdoor pond. One of them grew to the size of a potato:
WWL - snail story If the site asks for registration, use bugmenot.

They named him "Moses."

Jennifer Forman Orth said...

I guess the potential ecological consequences of putting introduced snails in an outdoor pond is an afterthought when confronted with the sheer size of a snail named Moses.

Then again - a 5lb. snail? You really do have to marvel at that.