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A Pilot Study Testing a Natural and a Synthetic Molluscicide for Controlling Invasive Apple Snails (Pomacea maculata)


Pomacea maculata (formerly P. insularum), an apple snail native to South America, was discovered in Louisiana in 2008. These snails strip vegetation, reproduce at tremendous rates, and have reduced rice production and caused ecosystem changes in Asia. In this pilot study snails were exposed to two molluscicides, a tea (Camellia sinensis) seed derivative (TSD) or niclosamide monohydrate (Pestanal®, 2′,5-dichloro-4′-nitrosalicylanilide, CAS #73360-56-2). Mortality was recorded after exposure to high or low concentrations (0.03 and 0.015 g/L for TSD, 1.3 and 0.13 mg/L for niclosamide). The TSD induced 100 % mortality at both concentrations. Niclosamide caused 100 % and 17 % mortality at high and low concentrations respectively. These molluscicides were also tested on potential biocontrol agents, the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus). No crayfish mortalities occurred at either concentration for either chemical, but sunfish experienced 100 % mortality with TSD (0.03 g/L), and 21 % mortality with niclosamide (0.13 mg/L).

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We thank Eric Theall and Sergio Merino of IAP World Services for technical support, Matt Cannister of USGS for map production, and Tim Ruth of the LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for snail collection.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Heather M. Olivier.

Ethics declarations

This project was supported in part by the USGS Invasive Species Program. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government.

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

This study followed animal protocols in accordance with taxon-specific guidelines (Use of Fishes in Research Committee 2014).

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Olivier, H.M., Jenkins, J.A., Berhow, M. et al. A Pilot Study Testing a Natural and a Synthetic Molluscicide for Controlling Invasive Apple Snails (Pomacea maculata). Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 96, 289–294 (2016).

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  • Invasive species
  • Niclosamide
  • Pomacea
  • Tea seed