Entomology Home

an overview of biological control research in CSIRO Entomology

  Biological Control Home

Classical Biocontrol

    Aquatic Weeds »
 Entomology Home
Biological Control Home > Classical biocontrol > Introduced species

Mediterranean Snails

Aestivating snails on fence post

Mediterranean white and conical snails are important introduced pests of cereals, legumes, pastures and vineyards in southern Australia.

They can clog farm machinery, contaminate harvests (grain can be rejected), feed on seedlings and pasture and can be hosts for human diseases.

Molluscicides are effective but expensive so CSIRO identified potential biocontrol agents in the native range of the snails (western Mediterranean). Several were imported into quarantine in Australia but most were unacceptable as they also attacked other species. Eventually they identified one parasitic fly, Sarcophaga penicillata for the snail, Cochlicella acuta.

AQIS approved its release in 2000 and releases have been made on York Peninsula by the South Australian Research and Development Institute. Its field performance is now being evaluated.

Supported by: Australian Wool Innovation, South Australian Research and Development Institute, Grains Research and Development Corporation

Mediterranean conical snail
Parasitic fly on conical snail