The Coffee Melampus
The Coffee Melampus, Melampus coffea (Linnaeus, 1758), is a snail that can be found living in the mangrove forests of SW Florida, usually above the high tide line. Their shell is relatively thick, and the aperture has small serrations internally. In addition to the Coffee Melampus, the family Elobiidae includes a few other, similar species in our local area. Melampus and their kin are land snails (pulmonates), breathing air through a specialized tissue called a lung, that has no relation to the real lung of vertebrate animals. They feed on the decomposing leaves and other plant material found in the soil of mangrove areas.
The Coffee Melampus, Melampus coffea, from Sanibel Island. Photos by José H. Leal.