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  • José H. Leal

The Rosy Wolf Snail

The Rosy Wolf Snail, Euglandina rosea (Férrusac, 1818), is a land snail native to Central America and parts of the southeastern United States, including Florida. This mollusk-eating species was intentionally introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in the mid-20th century, in a failed and disastrous attempt to eradicate the invasive Giant African Snail, Lissachatina fulica (Férrusac, 1821). The introduced species did not accomplish what was expected: the Giant African Snail continued to thrive in Hawaii, and the Rosy Wolf Snail ended up decimating several native species of land snails. The photos show, from left, a shell (measuring 40 mm, or about 1.6 inch) from Sanibel Island and a very young individual (shell about 6 mm, or 0.25 inch), from Captiva Island. In this latter image, you can see the snail’s “big” eyes at the end of the tentacles, and some of the internal organs (by transparency), including the tube-like esophagus and the gizzard, a darker, double-oval structure inside the snail's "neck." This great photo of the young snail was taken by Kimberly J. Nealon. Learn more mollusks and their shells in our Southwest Florida Shells Guide.