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Featured articles:
-African Landsnails on the increase in Barbados.
-Snaileating caterpillar discovered in Hawaii.
-African Landsnails conquer Brazil

Achatina fulica is still expending its areas of distribution,one of the newest ones being Barbados.The species was first discovered there in September 2000 and has since that time been on the increase despite efforts to stop them.Bret Taylor,who works as an entomologist for the Ministery of Agriculture,said that illegal dumping was the cause for the snails being in a particular area of the island.

Apparently the snails have a taste for the Breadfruittrees growing on Barbados.Because of the many suitable hiding places present like trees,old buildings,concrete blocks and gullies finding the snails is a difficult task. According to Taylor the danger the snails pose lies in eating undercooked snails or consuming plants which have been in contact with the animals.

source:Barbados Advocate 28 July-Marc Gibson

Snaileating caterpillar discovered in Hawaii

Hyposmocoma molluscivora is the name of the newly discovered moth which larvae are the first described snaileating caterpillars. The caterpillars don't attack moving snails but instead focus on the ones resting on treebranches or leaves.They tie their prey with silk making it unable to move.The caterpillar "wedges its case next to or inside the snail shell and stretches much of its body out of the silk case, pursuing the retreating snail to the end of the shell from which there is no escape," Haines and Rubinoff the researchers,report.

According to them the behaviour was discovered earlier but they didn't gave enough credibility to it.

a6371_1219.jpg
caterpillar(arrow)spinning silk around snail

African Landsnails conquer Brazil
Achatina fulica now has spread over most of Brazil according to a spokesman of the national environmental institute Ibama.The snail was introduced in the late 1980's on a cattlemarkt in the south of Brazil as a new profitable product.
But unfortunatly this didn't became the success the importers hoped for.Snails escaped or were released because nobody would buy them.The snail feed on fruits and forestsplants and has been spotted on the edge of the Amazon.
But it can also been found in cities surviving on garbage on the street.
Humans can get ill if they touch the slimelayer of the snail,host of parasitic worms.These cause nausea or a fatal perforation of the intestines,or meningitis.
The government is campaigning against the snails teaching the people how to get rid of the snails:"If you find it,pick the snail up with gloves,burn it,smash the shell and bury the remains to give the worms no chance."
According to the coordinator of the Rio de Janeiro snailextermination program 1100 snails have been found in that city which is 3 times as much as last year.
"It is too late to get rid of the snails completely,but with the assistance of the population we can control their numbers."the Ibama spokesman hopes.
The Telegraaf(Dutch newspaper)Saterday 13th august