Well, dang it. Looks like we have a potential ecological emergency at the BrightHaven pond. A couple of days ago, I noticed a large pink mass on my curly willow tree. It’s kind of pretty but odd-looking. I’m fairly observant in the garden, so I was sure it was something new. I’ve been very forgetful as well and so have put off “googling: large pink egg mass.” If you do, you’ll see something like this:
Do you know what it is yet? Well, if you know your invasive or potentially invasive species, you recognize this as the egg mass of the Island Apple Snail or the channeled apple snail. Whoops. She lives in my pond and is there to help keep the pond clean. She likes to eat fish food and algae and is very low maintenance. We had a different one that died early this year.
I know this snail has been climbing out of the water for the past few weeks. I keep putting her back into the water because I didn’t want a bird to come by and eat her (which has been known to happen around here!) Now, it appears that I am harboring a very invasive species that should be killed on sight. Ugh. I’m usually very careful about introducing invasive species into our little ecosphere, as we are working with such a limited space. Does anyone out there have any advice? Maybe take her and her eggs back where I got her? (NOT the wild!) The egg mass is easily taken care of–it just needs to be scraped into the water. The eggs cannot survive being inundated. If you have this type of snail, you should be careful with them, because ALL types of snails and slugs can potentially carry a rat lung parasite–which you don’t want to have in or on you!
Here’s a great website to help you learn all about aquatic invasives: Nab the Aquatic Invader!