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New Invasive Pest Found in Florida
USAgNet - 10/14/2020

An insect native to parts of Asia has been discovered in the United States. The Macrochlamys indica, commonly known as the horntail snail, was found in Miami-Dade County in Florida, the state confirmed on Thursday.

"The horntail snail is an invasive pest with the potential to cause serious health implications for Floridians," Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in an Oct. 1 statement. "Our Division of Plant Industry and essential industry partners are continuing to monitor this threat and working towards a plan to stop the horntail snail's spread into other areas of Florida."

Since the original discovery on Sept. 30, multiple sites with the snail have been identified.

Farms.com reports that the pest is native to Bangladesh and India but has also been found in Egypt. It gets its name from a fleshy piece of skin resembling a horn on the tip of its tail. Its shell is about the size of a dime, is amber-colored and delicate.

The insect feeds on multiple crops including broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. It also eats beans, moringa, yams and members of the cucurbits family.

The pests are most active at night or after rainfall and prefer cool conditions. In periods of dry weather, they will burrow underground.

After reaching four months of age, the snail can begin to lay eggs. One insect can lay between 45 and 900 eggs per year.


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