The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Pomacea paludosa
Pomacea paludosa
(Florida applesnail)
Native Transplant
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Pomacea paludosa

Common name: Florida applesnail

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: This species is the largest freshwater gastropod native to North America (Burch 1982).  It is globose in shape, body whorls are wide, spire is depressed, and the aperature is narrowly oval (Burch 1982).  They are brown in color and have a striped pattern.

Size: 60 mm in length and width (Burch 1982)

Native Range: Common throughout the Florida peninsula up to the Suwannee River Drainage, and sporadically west from the Suwannee into the panhandle to the Choctawhatchee River Drainage and north into Georgia in to the Flint and Ocmulgee River Drainages (Thompson 1984); Cuba; Hispanola (Dundee 1974).

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Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Pomacea paludosa are found here.

StateYear of earliest observationYear of last observationTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
Alabama197019701Upper Conecuh
Georgia197419741Ogeechee Coastal
Louisiana197419741Eastern Louisiana Coastal
Oklahoma197419741Lower North Canadian
South Carolina199820081Broad-St. Helena

Table last updated 10/12/2018

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: This species is tropical and amphibious, having both lungs and gills, making it easy to survive dry periods and seasons, where it burrows under the mud (Burch, 1982; Dillon, R. T., Jr. and colleagues 2018). This species is able to store air in it's shell cavity in order to float on the water surface to reach vegetation (Dillon, R. T., Jr. and colleagues 2018).

Florida applesnails have separate sexes, with females laying eggs above the waterline on emergent vegetation (Dillon, R. T., Jr. and colleagues 2018).

Means of Introduction: Outside of it's native range, this species has been found in ponds on gulf courses, leading to the thought that the snails were introduced as hitchikers on aquatic plants (Dillon, R. T., Jr. and colleagues 2018), although oher applesnail species are known to be introduced from the aquairum trade (Clench, 1966).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

References: (click for full references)

Burch, J. B. 1982. North American freshwater snails.Walkerana 1(4):217-365.

Clench, W.J. 1966. Pomacea bridgesi (Reeve) in Florida. Nautilus 79(3):105.

Dillon, R. T., Jr. and colleagues 2018. The freshwater gastropods of North America. Internet address: http://www.fwgna.org

Dundee, D. S. 1974. Catalog of introduced molluscs of eastern North America (north of Mexico). Sterkiana 55:1-37.

Thompson, F.G. 1984. The freshwater snails of Florida: a manual for identification. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, Florida, 94 pp.

Author: Benson, A.J., and C.R. Morningstar

Revision Date: 10/10/2018

Citation Information:
Benson, A.J., and C.R. Morningstar, 2019, Pomacea paludosa: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=985, Revision Date: 10/10/2018, Access Date: 3/19/2019

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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URL: https://nas.er.usgs.gov
Page Contact Information: Matthew Neilson - NAS Program (mneilson@usgs.gov)
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2018


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2019]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [3/19/2019].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted. For queries involving fish, please contact Matthew Neilson. For queries involving invertebrates, contact Amy Benson.