Liguus fasciatus as “living jewels, in Florida this species includes the following 52 varieties or color forms, while in Cuba it is present in more than 70 varieties.
These tree snails feed on fungus and algae scraped from the bark of the host plants (mainly wild tamarind (Lysiloma latisiliquum), pigeon plum (Coccoloba diversifolia) and Myrsine species). They can be found mainly from May through September, but they are active throughout the year. This species is the most widespread of all the Liguus. It occurs in the Caribbean Area (South Florida. Florida Keys, North coast of Cuba, Isle of Pines). These tree snails can be found in southern Florida on hammocks, tropical forest and shrubs habitats that are slightly higher in elevation than the surrounding area. Quoting from the famous book, “The World’s Most Beautiful Seashells”, the first liguus arrived in Florida about 10,000 years ago from Cuba but were limited to the Northward range due to not being able to survive the cool winter temperatures. The everglades tropical hardwood grows in hammocks, slightly elevated limestone outcroppings that are submerged for parts of the year. These hammocks isolated from one another gave rise to localized strains with distinct characteristics.
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