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Back to Education IndexAchatina Achatina, common name the giant Ghana snail, also known as the giant tiger land snail and Giant African Land Snail is a species of very large, air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Achatinidae. The name "Achatina" is from "achates", Greek for agate.
The species is believed to be native to West Africa, within 160 to 300 kilometres of the coasts of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Ghana, and Nigeria. The shells of these snails often grow to a length of 18 centimetres (7.1 in) with a diameter of 9 centimetres (3.5 in). Certain examples have been surveyed in the wild at 30×15 cm, making them the largest extant land snail species known.
Like almost all pulmonate gastropods, these snails are hermaphrodites, having male and female sex organs. Each snail lays up to twelve hundred eggs per year. Achatina achatina is an important source of animal protein for West African forest-dwelling ethnic groups, and commercial farming of these snails holds great promise.
This species' substantial size and potential for rapid population growth can make the snail a serious pest when introduced to non-native ecosystems. The population size of this species can be curtailed through disease caused by the bacterium Aeromonas liquefaciens but it often has no other natural enemies.
This page is about the impressive Giant African Land Snail (Achatina Achatina)
Click HERE for a Giant African Land Snail care sheet.