Texans encouraged to report sightings of giant apple snails

The parasite-carrying invasive species has previously been found in the San Antonio River

(Image of Applesnail via San Antonio River Authority) (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Giant apple snails are an invasive species to Texas and officials with Texas Parks and Wildlife are now asking anyone who sees one of these snails, or their pink egg clusters, to report it.

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The snails have been found in numerous bodies of water, especially in the Houston area, and have also been found previously in the San Antonio River as recently as January.

Apple snails are native to South America, can grow up to six inches and out-compete the snails that are native to Texas, according to a previous KSAT report.

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The snails, which wreak havoc on aquatic vegetation, also “carry a rat lungworm parasite that can infect humans, causing a type of meningitis,” according to a Facebook post from Texas Parks and Wildlife. The parasite has yet to be found in Texas.

Have you seen this snail?👇🏾Giant Applesnails have been found in numerous water bodies, especially in the Houston area,...

Posted by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Monday, May 18, 2020

If anyone sees an apple snail or their pink egg clusters, TPWD officials are asking that you please take a photo and send it to aquaticinvasives@tpwd.texas.org.

“These snails are one of many species that may have been spread as the result of flooding associated with Hurricane Harvey in late summer of 2017,” according to TexasInvasives.org.

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See video of what was found during the River Walk draining in January below:

They are small, but they are a huge threat to the San Antonio River ecosystem: Apple snails.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.