Florida Tree Snail

Florida Tree Snail

A number of terrestrial snails occur in Florida. Snails are important in the conversion of plant matter (often in the form of algae, fungi, or plant detritus) into animal material. Thus, they are important food for some forms of wildlife that are carnivorous or omnivorous. And, of course, sometimes humans eat snails.

A number of species are known from Central and South America and some Caribbean Islands. The Florida tree snail 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.

Upon entering a tropical hardwood hammock in south Florida, The eyes then focus on what appear to be porcelain ornaments hung on the trunks of wild tamarind and Jamaica dogwood. The Florida tree snail inhabits tropical hardwood hammocks in extreme southern mainland Florida, and in the Florida Keys.

The main threat to the Florida tree snail is the loss of habitat.  Its habitat selection is extremely specific as the species prefers smooth barked trees in tropical hardwood hammocks.  Florida tree snails also face the threat of fire ants, which have been known to kill tree snails during their times of hibernation  Tree snails in the Lower Keys face the danger of hurricane storm surge and sea level rise.

The shell is secreted by a part of the body called the mantle, and the shell consists principally of calcium carbonate. Snails secrete an acidic material from the sole of their foot that dissolves calcium in the soil and allows uptake so the shell can be secreted. Calcium carbonate also is deposited in the shell of their eggs. Tree snails are normally found on the ground only during egg-deposition or when dislodged from their perches.

If you live in Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, or anywhere in Southwest Florida and would like more information on the Florida Tree Snail; call our office or look us up on our website at collierpestcontrol.com.  Remember Florida does not have to be shared with pests.