Haemolymph Biochemical Parameters of the African Giant Snail (Achatina achatina) and the Big Black Snail (Achachatina marginata)

  • A.O. Ogunsanmi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management and
  • V.O. Taiwo Veterinary Pathology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
  • T.O. Akintomide Veterinary Pathology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria


A comparative analysis of the biochemical profiles of the haemolymph of 50 each of apparently normal captive African giant snail, (Achatina achatina) and the big black snail, (Achachatina marginata) was carried out. The mean protein (total protein, albumin, globulin and albumin:globulin ratio) levels, excretory products (urea and creatinine), enzymes, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT and aspartate aminitransferase (AST), and electrolytes (Na+, K+, Ca++ and HCO3) levels were similar (P>0.05) in both wild snail species. Chloride ions (CT) were not detected in the haemolymphs of the two snail species, a very important clue to their salt intolerance in African traditional beliefs. There were marked differences in the levels of haemolymph lipids and trace elements of the two species of snails. The cholesterol and triglyceride levels were lower (P<0.05), while the Mg++, Mn++, Cu++ and Zn++ levels were higher (P<0.05) in the haemolymph of the African giant snail than in that of the big black snail. The uses and implications of these data in the management of these two wild snail species for meat and research are discussed.

Keyword: Snails, Achatina achatina, Achachatina marginata, haemolymph biochemistry, management

Trop. Vet. Vol. 21 (2) 43-48 (2003)

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0794-4845