Foraging Behaviour Responses in the African Giant Land Snail Achatina Achatina
The study was carried out to determine the conditioning procedure of tentacle lowering to determine foraging behaviour responses in Achatina achatina. Snails were exposed to unripe fruit odour of paw paw and pear as conditioned stimuli (CS), while they ingested carrot as unconditioned stimulus (US). There were 4 treatments of 10 snails each replicated 3 times. During experimentation (conditioning), all snails ate carrot as US, but exposed to the odour of carrot in control treatment (T1); paw paw in T2; pear in T3; pair of paw paw and pear in T4 as CS respectively. Responses were measured through posterior tentacle lowering to sensory stimuli from experimental vegetable odour during feeding. Results indicated T1 with highest tentacle lowering; T2 indicated an acquisition effect; T3 indicated latent inhibition effect; T4 indicated over shadowing effect between paired odour. The A. achatina demonstrated at least 7 days of odour memory retention. The immediate significance of this study is that snail farmers should feed their stock with a diet in which snails will develop habituation and hence optimal performance.
Key words: Land snail, tentacle lowering, foraging behaviour