Molluscs: Introduced Species
Scientific name: Pomacea canaliculata
Common name(s): Apple Snail
Habitat: Slow-moving portion of streams, wetlands and kalo lo‘i
Preferred Area of Stream: Slow areas with shallow water and muddy bottoms, heavily vegetated areas of pools and wetland areas with standing water.
Range in Hawai‘i: Common in many low elevation stream areas and all Hawaiian Islands except Moloka‘i
Diet: Aquatic vegetation and all parts of the kalo plant
Predators: Kalo farmers in Waipio Valley have found that domestic ducks can be trained to effectively control apple snails, but ducks will only eat the young snails. If ducks are not regularly used to keep snail numbers low in the lo‘i the snails will quickly increase in size and be too big to be eaten.
Fact: Native to South America , apple snails are one of the worst introduced aquatic pests in Hawai‘i. They were mistakenly introduced in the belief that they would be widely eaten in restaurants and have a high commercial value. Instead, apple snails devastate kalo crops and are so common there is little value to them; apple snails are also a serious pest of rice crops in Japan and Asia .