The Asian Tramp Snail has become one of the most common and most numerous of all land snails found in Texas. Native to Southeast Asia, it was unintentionally brought to the United States via the plant trade during the early 1900’s. In this way, it has been introduced into countries all over the globe. It is quite possibly the most well-distributed snail species in the world. The first documented sighting in America took place in 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This species spread into the five Gulf states via the coastal seaports. It thrives in Houston’s warm, humid environment. Unlike native Texan snails whose diet consists almost entirely of dead and decaying vegetation, the Asian Tramp Snail consumes a vast variety of garden plants, making it a horticultural nuisance. In Houston, much of the damage to flowers and vegetation (holes and abrasions in leaves, etc.), can be attributed to this snail.
The shell of the Asian Tramp Snail is polymorphic, appearing in several different forms. There are two basic shell hues: a dark variety, (a purplish, bruise-like color which grows redder near the aperture); and a lighter variety, (golden-brown or translucent white), which is more common. Both varieties may have or lack a dark band circling up the shell. This band runs through the middle of the first whorl and is tangent to the top of the aperture. If unprotected, the vacant shell bleaches an opaque white and loses its periostracum.