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Southeast Ecological Science Center


Florida Tree Snail

Text by Deborah Jansen (Big Cypress National Preserve),
Steve Sparks, and Robert Bennetts.

The information contained in these pages are also available
in a printed brochure available from Big Cypress National Preserve.

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General Biology

The Florida tree snail (Liguus fasciatus) is a mollusk that lives in a colorful, cone-shaped shell. It grows to two inches in length, on average, but may reach three.   The shell size and thickness vary with location, color variety, food, and time of year.

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Fifty-eight color varieties of the Florida tree snail have been described. Several are now extinct and others are extremely rare. They range in color and pattern from white to black, solid to banded, dull to glossy. Vivid yellows, browns, blues, and greens are often displayed as stripes, flames, and washes.

The names of some varieties describe how they look. Others were named for individuals or the location where found. For example, delicatus evokes a sense of daintiness, wintei for its founder Erwin Winte, Everglade's first park ranger, and matecumbensis for Upper Matecumbe Key where it was first discovered.

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