E x o t i c P l a n t P e s t A l e r t
LOOK OUT FOR
Adult green snail (actual length about 55mm)
In the 1980s this introduced pest snail was found infesting over 350 hectares of marketgardens, suburban gardens and neighbouring bush areas near Perth in WesternAustralia. The green snail originally came from Southern Europe and North Africa. Itmay have been introduced illegally by an overseas traveller.The distribution of the green snail in Western Australia is relatively restricted. In additionto Perth, snails have been recorded in rural locations approximately 200 km south and120 km north of Perth.Consignments of green snail host materials and host plants need certification to be sentinterstate from Western Australia.In September 2011 it was detected near Cobram in the north of Victoria for the firsttime. This is the first confirmed case of this pest snail outside of Western Australia.A restricted area has been declared around the infestation and restrictions will apply tothe movement from this area of most plant materials, including pasture grasses, fodder(hay), vegetables, nursery stock and cut flowers.The aim of DPI Victoria is to contain green snail to a 2km radius pest quarantine areawithin this restricted area, while further surveys are conducted to determine the extentof the infestation.These surveys are suspended during summer (December-March), since the snails liedormant underground during this period and neither surveillance nor control measureswill be effective.Consignments of green snail host materials and host plants need certification to be sentinterstate or elsewhere in Victoria from the green snail 25 km restricted area.
What plants are affected by these snails?
The green snail has a wide host range. It has caused damage to cabbages,cauliflowers, lettuces, peas, beans, wheat, lupins, pasture grasses and native plants.The damage caused by green snail is similar to that of common garden snail
feedingon surfaces of young leaves, often only penetrating shallowly and leaving a
‘windowpane effect’. Older snails eat holes in the leaves and may reduce them to
veinsonly. During their underground summer dormancy, snails do not pose a risk to crops.