A worm that is killing the invasive giant African snails will be sent to France for laboratory tests.
The worm, which appeared after the April flooding on Guadalcanal, killed and drove away the snails from the Foxwood and Dodo Creek area, east of Honiara.
Chief quarantine officer Crispus Fanai said they’ve sent photos of the worm to France to verify the worm and whether it was truly responsible for killing the snails.
“The laboratory that we sent the photos to have now asked that we send samples so that they could do the test,” Fanai said.
“So this is what we are going to do now,” he added.
He said they took the action because they don’t have the capacity and facilities to test the worm.
Fanai added they suspect the worm is scientifically known as Platydemus Manokwari and is only found in France.
Another quarantine officer said the worm can kill the snails but it really depends on the environment they live in.
“If the environment is hot the warm will die,” the officer said.
Meanwhile, Fanai said they will let the public know the results of the tests.
Last month the Sunday Star visited the Dodo Creek area and found the snails dying in their thousands.
Platydemus manokwari, also known as the New Guinea flatworm, is a species of large predatory land flatworm.
Native to New Guinea, it has been accidentally introduced to the soil of many countries.
It was also deliberately introduced into two Pacific islands in an attempt to control an invasion of the Giant East African Snail.
It eats a variety of invertebrates including land snails, and has had a significant negative impact on the rare endemic land snail fauna of some Pacific islands.
It has become established in a wide variety of habitats.
By SOLOMON LOFANA