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 Major Groups | Gastropoda (snails) | Architaenioglossa (snails) | Ampullariidae


Major Group: Gastropoda
Order: Architaenioglossa
Genus: Pomacea
This family is represented in Australia by a single genus, Pomacea.

Descriptive Features:

  • Umbilicus of shell perforated OR broadly open
  • spire much less than height of aperture
  • Size:  

      Pomacea bridgesi


      Pomacea canaliculata

      Taxonomic Checklist: Species
      Pomacea bridgesi
      Pomacea canaliculata Reeve

      Distribution: invasive family recorded in Qld and NWA

      Sensitivity Rating: none

      Functional Feeding Group: shredders, scrapers

      Ecology: Pomacea bridgesiis commonly known as ‘mystery snail’ and Pomacea canaliculata as ‘apple snail’. Pomacea bridgesi is a popular aquarium species. Pomacea canaliculata is the only species of freshwater snails which is ranked in the top 100 of the world’s worst invasive species. In the last 2 decades, it has become a serious rice pest in south-eastern Asian countries and now there are similar concerns for Australian rice growers.
      Instream habitat: Ampullariidae species generally occur in temporary water bodies in tropical or sub-tropical areas. Pomacea snails are known to occur in lentic habitats in Australia. They are found amongst vegetation or buried in soft sediments.
      Feeding ecology: Pomacea snails are herbivores, vigorously feeding on almost every type of plant and most algae. Pomacea bridgesi however prefers dead and rotting plant material. They search at night for submerged plants or plant remains hidden in the mud.
      Habit Pomacea are amphibious snails that remain submerged during the day, hidden in vegetation near water margins and the surface. They are most active at night but the activity level is temperature dependant. Pomacea canaliculata can endure harsh environmental conditions, such as low water levels, extreme temperatures or lack of food, by burying itself in the sediments and closing its operculum firmly.
      Life history: Reproduction rates for ampullariid snails vary with temperature and food availability. Females lay an average clutch of 100-600 eggs, attached to objects above the water surface. Eggs are pink to reddish in colour and are loosely attached to each other. Pomacea bridgesi have both male and female individuals within a species. Hatching occurs in two to three weeks and the life span is usually two years.


      Information Sources: Ghesquiere 2001, Cole 2004, CSIRO 1999, Fuller 2008, Yusa et al. 2006, Martin et al. 2005 
      Key to Species: Thompson 2004 (USA)