A few phone calls to friends and some googling resulted in a new awareness. They are not frogs eggs. They are snails' eggs which must have been laid after all these days of non stopping monsoon rains.
The Gold Apple Snail is not new to Sarawak. And some people consider it a great pest especially to rice farming. Also known as "golden kuhol'' [Pomacea canaliculata Lamarck], it is one of the major pest problems in rice production. In 1989, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimated that yield tosses owing to this pest ranged from 1% to 40% of the planted area in the Philippines, resulting in huge production loss.
To control this pest, many farmers resort to the massive use of synthetic molluscicides that are expensive and broad spectrum, affecting non-target organisms including human beings.
In addition here's an excerpt from http://www.kelabit.net
In early 1997, they reached Sarawak, first brought from Kalimantan by a Long Balai resident in Ba Kelalan, to be bred for food. From there, it was brought into Bario by migrant Indonesian workers. Since then, it has destroyed an estimated 239 hectares of padi at Ba Kelalan, Long Semadoh and Bario.
The total cost of this golden apple snail invasion is very high. While it does not feed on mature rice plants, it causes significant damage to very young rice seedlings. Apart from this direct loss in rice yield, additional costs include that of controlling the snail and replanting lost seedlings. The snail effects humans too. It harbours various parasitic worms that cause skin irritations, and is host to the lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) which, normally parasitic on rats, can cause a fatal form of meningo-encephalitis in humans.
(These are my photos using
and from the Star:
Saturday November 21, 2009
Farmers facing new threat from snails
By WINNIE YEOH
ALOR SETAR: Although flood had subsided over the last couple of days, rice farmers here are facing a new threat from the golden apple snails, locally known as siput gondang emas.
The snails are breeding fast and the pinkish eggs can be seen in weeds in the padi fields.
Farmer Marzuki Saad, 56, said the pests were brought in by water overflowing from rivers.
I will be observing the development of these few capsules of eggs in the next few days. Would they become snails? Should we be alarmed?
Check them out yourself if you happen to be jogging along the Luak Bay Coastal Road. These pink and extremely interesting but styrofoam like eggs are found on the walls of the concret drains.