|Apical view of a shell of Zachrysia provisoria|
The shell is medium-sized (25–30 mm width), globose in shape with 4 to 5 rapidly expanding whorls. The shell is translucent so that the speckled black mantle shows clearly through the shell of the living animal. The shell is usually thick and strong, but in acidic environments it can be thin and fragile. The body whorl is increasing in size more than those of spire. There is no umbilicus. The shell is sculptured with fairly regular, strong, curved axial ribs. Fresh specimens are with rich dark tan covering, sometimes with light brown axial streaks. Older specimens are yellowish brown. The lip and columella is white.
A very similar species of snail is Zachrysia trinitaria (Pfeiffer), from Cuba, which has recently been found in South Florida. Adults of Zachrysia trinitaria can be distinguished from Zachrysia provisoria by their large size, since they are 1.5 to 2.0 times bigger than Zachrysia provisoria.
The distribution of Zachrysia provisoria includes:
- Cayman Islands
- Florida (Brevard, Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Monroe, Palm Beach and Pinellas counties)
- Puerto Rico
- Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten.
- U.S. Virgin Islands
This species is already established in the USA, and is considered to represent a potentially serious threat as a pest, an invasive species which could negatively affect agriculture, natural ecosystems, human health or commerce. Therefore it has been suggested that this species be given top national quarantine significance in the USA.
Zachrysia provisoria is a polyphagous snail attacking a wide range of agricultural and horticultural plants. Known host plants include Bougainvillea, various citrus species, crepe myrtle, mango and star fruit (carambola). The snails can rasp the bark and epiderm of cuttings of several plants.
- Stange L. A. (created September 2004, updated March 2006). "Snails and Slugs of Regulatory Significance to Florida". Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. accessed 27 August 2010.
- "Zachrysia provisoria". accessed 28 August 2010.
- Cowie R. H., Dillon R. T., Robinson D. G. & Smith J. W. (2009). "Alien non-marine snails and slugs of priority quarantine importance in the United States: A preliminary risk assessment". American Malacological Bulletin 27: 113-132. PDF.