The Lineate Dove Snail
The Lineate Dove Snail, Suturoglypta iontha (Ravenel, 1861) is a small gastropod that measures about 9 mm (about a third of an inch). A member of the Marine Dove Snail family Columbellidae, this species is found in sea grass beds and mud flats around the barrier islands of Southwest Florida. The Lineate Dove Snails are very variable in their color pattern, ranging from having fine lines to large spots of mahogany-, light- or yellowish-brown color. Small Dove Snails are known to feed on carrion (they are micro-scavengers) and on the thin film of microorganisms that grow on sea grass blades. The live specimen (in the two images on the right) was collected by Museum Marine Biologist Rebecca Mensch (under a Special Activities License granted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) on Sanibel and photographed by José H. Leal.
The Lineate Dove Snail Suturoglypta iontha (Ravenel, 1861), shell on left and live animal on right.