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Baltimore CBP Intercepts First in Port Amber Snail

Release Date: 
April 3, 2013

BALTIMORE—A U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist confirmed Tuesday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists recorded a first discovery of a Succinea costaricana in the Port of Baltimore.

Succinea costaricana is a quarantine pest known to occur in Central America. It damages ornamental plants, and poses a potential threat to ornamental plant industry. Succinea costaricana is a species of air-breathing land snail in the family Succineidae, the amber snails. Some species are agricultural pests, causing damage to cucumber, tomato, lettuce, chrysanthemums, carnations, roses and tulips.

CBP agriculture specialists discovered the Succinea costaricana snail March 27 on the exterior of a shipping container loaded with bags of cardamom seasoning from Guatemala. CBP submitted the specimen Thursday to the local USDA - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Plant Protection and Quarantine entomologist for identification.

"CBP agriculture specialists take their job of detecting foreign invasive plants and plant pests very seriously," said Ricardo Scheller Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. "This is another example of our agriculture specialists performing a thorough inspection and finding a new potential threat to the U.S. agriculture industry."


It was the first recorded discovery of a Succinea Costaricana in the Port of Baltimore.

Baltimore CBP agriculture specialists discovered a snail, identified by U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologists as a Succinea Costaricana, in a shipment of cardamom from Guatemala.

CBP issued an Emergency Action Notification to the importer. The cardamom will be stripped from the container and cargo and container will be thoroughly inspected. The cargo may be released to the importer if no further pests are found mixed in with the cargo.

CBP agriculture specialists work closely with USDA's APHIS-PPQ to protect our nation's agriculture resources against the introduction of foreign plant pests and animal diseases.

Visit the USDA APHIS-PPQ program online for more information.

CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day, they inspect tens of thousands of international air passengers, and air and sea cargoes nationally being imported to the United States, and seize 4,919 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 476 insect pests.

Learn more about CBP agriculture specialists online.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017