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Acta Trop. 1982 Mar;39(1):85-90.

Elimination of Biomphalaria pfeifferi, Bulinus tropicus and Lymnaea natalensis by the ampullarid snail, Marisa cornuarietis, in a man-made dam in northern Tanzania.


Marisa cornuarietis is a well known ampullarid competitor/predator of Biomphalaria glabrata in Puerto Rico. For the first time in Africa a flourishing population of Marisa has been established in a small, permanent, man-made dam at Kisangara, near Moshi, Tanzania. Prior to the release of M. cornuarietis in June 1977, this dam supported thriving populations of the pulmonate snail hosts Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis; Bulinus tropicus and the melaniid Melanoides tuberculata were also common. Some 24 months after the establishment of Marisa the three pulmonate species had been eliminated; only M. tuberculata remained at about the same population density as originally recorded. Marisa has not caused any obvious adverse environmental impact in the dam. There is at present no valid evidence that this ampullarid would be a threat to local rice production, which is the only crop at risk, but carefully designed field trials should be undertaken to confirm or refute this view. In view of the vast number of permanent, lentic habitats throughout the Afrotropical region, which act as important transmission sites of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis, the role of Marisa cornuarietis as a cost-effective biological control agent in integrated control operations deserves henceforth to be energetically explored.

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