Archachatina marginata

Giant West African Snail

The Giant West African Snail is native to the African humid forests of Cameroon and the Central Republic of Congo. Did you know that you can tell the age of a snail by the number of turns of its shell?

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Length 15 cm
Lifespan 10 years
Diet Leaves and fruits
Habitat Humid Forests
Reproduction up to 40 eggs
IUCN Red List Status
Not evaluated
Data deficient
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered

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This species has a round, wide and extensive shell, with a yellowish background contrasting with uniformly arranged dark brown bands. The central column of the shell (columella) has a white or bluish-white color. Its shell can grow up to 15 centimeters of length and 13 centimeters of diameter.



They are nocturnal animals and prefer to feed at this time. They are more active during the warm months, with the ideal temperature for this species being between 13ºC and 32ºC. When the temperature drops below 10°C, they can survive by hibernating for a few months.



When in captivity, these snails eat plants at a very high rate. This makes them a pest to agriculture.
Generally these snails prefer to eat at night, and are not very selective in the type of plants or fruits they eat.
Their tongue (radula) has small spikes, which allows them to grasp food easily.



Like other snails, the Giant West African Snail is hermaphrodite, which means that it has both male and female sex organs. However, for reproduction, 2 individuals are needed, where anyone can play the role of male or female. They are oviparous and can produce up to 40 eggs. The incubation of the eggs lasts about 40 days and hide them under rocks or leaves.



The Giant West African Snail is considered an invasive species in some countries. Its importation by human hand was the cause that the species is now widely distributed around the world.

Other Invertebrates

Other animals