A U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist has confirmed that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists recorded a first discovery of the Succinea costaricana snail in the Port of Baltimore.
Known to occur in Central America, Succinea costaricana is a quarantine pest that damages ornamental plants and poses a threat to the ornamental plants industry. It is a species of air-breathing land snail in the family Succineidae, the amber snails. Some species are agricultural pests that can damage cucumber, tomato, lettuce, chrysanthemums, carnations, roses and tulips.
Customs officials discovered the snail on the exterior of a shipping container loaded with bags of cardamom seasoning from Guatemala. Customs submitted the specimen to the local USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant Protection and Quarantine entomologist for identification and subsequently issued an emergency action notification to the importer.
The cardamom will be stripped from the container and cargo and container will be “thoroughly inspected,” Customs said in a written statement. The cargo may be released to the importer if no further pests are found mixed in with the cargo.