California Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
University of California
California Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Invasive Clams, Mussels, Snails, etc.

Apple Snail

Scientific Name

Pomacea canaliculata - Visit ITIS for full scientific classification. 


  • Usually a large light brown, rounded shell with 5-6 spirals.
  • Can get up to 6 inches in shell size, and have variable coloration.
  • Has a large oval opening, and bright pink egg masses.
  • Amphibious, but mainly aquatic.
  • Lives in wide variety of environments.
  • Found in swamps, ponds, lakes, rivers, agricultural areas, etc. 
Invasion Pathways and Distribution
  • Native to South America.
  • Present in multiple southern California counties.
  • Believed to have arrived in U.S. through intentional introduction(s) for food and/or aquarium trade.
Life History
  • Varied herbivorous diet.
  • Individuals are either male or female, with internal fertilization and very high fecundity. 
  • Feed heavily on aquatic plants.
  • Agricultural rice pest, with rapid reproduction.
  • Outcompetes natives for resources.
References and Useful Links

For references by category and links to other useful AIS sites see our LEARN MORE page.

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