We investigated the cold hardiness of a South American freshwater apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, which began to invade Japanese paddy fields in the early 1980s. Pomacea canaliculata exhibited apparent seasonal fluctuation in its cold hardiness. Snails collected from submerged paddy fields in summer were less tolerant to cold, and none survived exposure to 0°C for five days. With decreasing temperature, together with drainage of its habitat in autumn, P. canaliculata developed cold hardiness, attaining almost 100% survivorship after exposure to 0°C for five days in December. The snails resting in drained fields were approximately nine times more cold tolerant than those collected from submerged fields, based on the time to 50% mortality at 0°C. Snails overwintering in aquatic conditions also acquired cold hardiness.
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Vol. 49 • No. 2