October 2006. A question was asked about Giant African snail (photo, left): does It feed on taro, i.e., is it a pest of the crop. The question was asked as it was uncertain if it should be included in TaroPest (http://taropest.sci.qut.edu.au/) or not.
There are photos on Ecoport, showing damage to taro petioles and to leaves of Alocasia: ecoport.org/ep?SearchType=pdb&Subject=giant+african+snail&Caption=taro&SubjectWild=CO&CaptionWild=CO&Thumbnails=Y
It is mentioned as a pest of taro in the SPC’s Pest List Database: (www.spc.int:8088/pld/index.jsp) In American Samoa, French Polynesia, CMNI, and Samoa. In fact, after its introduction into Samoa, damage to taro was severe depending on the population, with individual plants being all but completely defoliated except for the furled central leaves (and there was feeding damage on some of these). The laminae were usually completely consumed as where the soft petioles. Damage was also reported from Papua New Guinea, and the Federated States of Miocronesia on taro, Xanthosoma and Cyrtosperma. Curiously, Palau reported that snails, though plentiful, had not been seen on taro, or any other aroids. Maybe it is avoided if other preferred sources of food are present.
Later (July 2012), in the photo (right) snails are eating Cyrtosperma – a picture taken in Vanuatu.