Insights from an integrated view of the biology of apple snails (caenogastropoda: Ampullariidae)

Kenneth A. Hayes*, Romi L. Burks, Alfredo Castro-Vazquez, Philip C. Darby, Horacio Heras, Pablo R. Martín, Jianwen QIU, Silvana C. Thiengo, Israel A. Vega, Takashi Wada, Yoichi Yusa, Silvana Burela, M. Pilar Cadierno, Juan A. Cueto, Federico A. Dellagnola, Marcos S. Dreon, M. Victoria Frassa, Maximiliano Giraud-Billoud, Martín S. Godoy, Santiago ItuarteEduardo Koch, Keiichiro Matsukura, M. Yanina Pasquevich, Cristian Rodriguez, Lucía Saveanu, María E. Seuffert, Ellen E. Strong, Jin Sun, Nicolás E. Tamburi, María J. Tiecher, Richard L. Turner, Patricia L. Valentine-Darby, Robert H. Cowie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)


Apple snails (Ampullariidae) are among the largest and most ecologically important freshwater snails. The introduction of multiple species has reinvigorated the field and spurred a burgeoning body of research since the early 1990s, particularly regarding two species introduced to Asian wetlands and elsewhere, where they have become serious agricultural pests. This review places these recent advances in the context of previous work, across diverse fields ranging from phylogenetics and biogeography through ecology and developmental biology, and the more applied areas of environmental health and human disease. The review does not deal with the role of ampullariids as pests, nor their control and management, as this has been substantially reviewed elsewhere. Despite this large and diverse body of research, significant gaps in knowledge of these important snails remain, particularly in a comparative framework. The great majority of the work to date concerns a single species, Pomacea canaliculata, which we see as having the potential to become a model organism in a wide range of fields. However, additional comparative data are essential for understanding this diverse and potentially informative group. With the rapid advances in genomic technologies, many questions, seemingly intractable two decades ago, can be addressed, and ampullariids will provide valuable insights to our understanding across diverse fields in integrative biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-302
Number of pages58
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Behavior
  • benthic macroinvertebrates
  • development
  • dormancy
  • ecology
  • evolution
  • freshwater
  • Gastropoda
  • immune system
  • invasive species
  • parasitology
  • reproduction
  • symbiosis


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