- José H. Leal
The Tampa Bay Top Snail
The scientific name of the Tampa Bay Top Snail, Calliostoma tampaense (Conrad, 1846), pays tribute not only to the place where the species was first found (the specific name tampaense), but also to a shell attribute, via the genus name Calliostoma, the pearly, beautiful (Greek kalos) shell opening, or “mouth” (Greek stoma). Calliostoma top snails are mostly omnivorous or feed on organic detritus, or, more rarely, carnivorous. The Tampa Bay Top Snail never reaches beyond an inch in size and is the most common of about four Calliostoma species found locally.
The Tampa Bay Top Snail, shell and live animal. Shell photo by José H. Leal, live animal by Amy Tripp, Collier County.