(CMR) Cayman's native snails are threatened by the Rosy Wolf Snail or Cannibal Snail (Euglandina rosea), an invasive carnivorous snail that eats other snails and slugs. The Department of Environment is asking the public to help find this snail before it does irreversible harm to Cayman's native snail populations.
The Rosy Wolf Snail is on the IUCN’s top 100 most invasive species and is a major contributor to the extinction of 234 mollusc species in Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Reunion, China, Japan, India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Sabah and Sri Lanka, Bahamas, Bermuda, Hawaii, American Samoa, Micronesia, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Originally from the Southern United States, the Rosy Wolf Snail lives in hardwood forests, shrubs and gardens and is most active in the months of April and May. These snails are hermaphrodites (both male and female) and can lay 25-35 eggs in the soil, which hatch after 30-40 days. An adult snail ranges in size from 7 to 10 cm (3-4 in), where the dimensions of its oblong shell are about 46-76mm long (1.8-3 in) and 21-27.5mm (.8 – 1 in) in diameter.
The shape of the glossy shell pattern is unique, with the first three whorls being smooth and the rest irregularly sculptured with fine longitudinal grooves. It is important to note there are no spiral grooves on the shell, and it can vary in color from brownish pink to brownish orange. The snail’s face is very distinct, with chemosensory (taste & smell) mustache-looking tentacles below its eye stocks, used to follow the slime trails of other snails while hunting (GISB, 2023, CABI 2019).
If you encounter this snail, please capture it and send a photo with the location and date to [email protected].