FOOD, FEEDING AND GROWTH OF GOLDEN APPLE SNAIL POMACEA CANALICULATA, LAMARCK (GASTROPODA: AMPULLARIIDAE)

U.N. MEMON, W. A. BALOCH, G.R. TUNIO, G.H. BURDI, A.L. KORAI, A.J. PIRZADA

Abstract


The freshwater Apple snail Pomacea canaliculata is a prominent paddy field pest in Southeast Asia. Due to highly voracious macrophytophagous feeding habit it has also been utilized as a possible control agent against macrophytes. Recently it has invaded Haleji Lake in Pakistan. The laboratory experiments revealed that water temperature has great influence over feeding and growth of these animals. Among various physico-chemical variables such as DO, TDS, EC, salinity, temperature and pH recorded during present study, the growth and feeding rates were found to be mainly effected by temperature. The average initial length of male P. canaliculata was 10.1 mm whereas female was 12.1 mm. The snails attained to a body length of 45.4 mm (male) and 56.0 mm (female) after six months of feeding with a mixed diet of three plants namely Launaea nudicaulis, Oxalis corniculata and Dipteracanthus patulus. The rapid growth was observed in female P. canaliculata rather than male. Food conversion ratio (FCR) was highest (75.1) in March and lowest in August and September (2.1 and 2.4, respectively). The favorable temperature range for the growth of P. canaliculata was found to be 28°C - 31°C.


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