Friday, 20 May 2016

Tulip Snail (Fasciolaria tulipa)

Tulip Snail
Fasciolaria tulipa

Photos by Corey Corrick

The articles presented by each student from the UNF cohort this week are about some of the different organisms that we have seen this week, with each student writing an article for one species.
The tulip snail, Fasciolaria tulipa, is a marine snail. For phylogenetic classification, it is a member of the phylum Mollusca and class Gastropoda. The tulip snail could be found in the Atlantic Ocean, from North Carolina to as far south as Brazil, and in the Gulf of Mexico. Fasciolaria tulipa is carnivorous, eating various species of bivalves and other species of gastropods. By association, the tulip snail controls the population of grazers and filter feeders. In general, a tulip snail is smaller than a queen conch and slightly smaller than a horse conch, but larger than other gastropods found at the snorkeling site, with lengths between 2.5 inches and 9.5 inches.
Our group found these snails in the seagrass beds of Old Dan Bank and Old Sweat Bank in Florida Bay, one of the gulf-side bays of the Florida Keys. The similarities that these two locations have are that the sediment is calcareous with barely any amount of silt, and the composition of primary producers mainly consists of seagrasses with sponges and algae mixed in. The tulip snails I observed were crawling along the floor of the sea bed, crawling over the seagrass and sponges if they are in the way.

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