The golden apple snail might look completely unthreatening, but if you know a little something about invasive species, you'll recognise Pomacea canaliculata as a pretty menacing character.

The unassuming freshwater inhabitant is native to parts of Argentina and Uruguay, but this is a snail with a taste for world domination – it's on the list of the planet's 100 worst invasive species. 

And when you watch this golden apple snail pea-shooting its progeny into world, you'll understand just how it got there. 

The clip's exact origins are tricky to pin down, since it was posted to the Chinese-language "Science in the Field" Facebook page. But we're looking at a timelapse video, with one frame shot every ten seconds. The molluscs don't actually do their egg-laying at hyperspeed – it happens at more of a snail's pace:

The animals were first introduced to Asia in the late 1970s as a source of food (and possibly for the aquarium trade), and have since been sliming their way across the continent – and beyond. And with just one clutch of the pinky-red eggs averaging at 260 (and up to 1,000!), it's easy to see how the species pulled off such an impressive takeover!


Top header image: kentbrew, Flickr