Newly Discovered Florida Keys Snail Named After Margaritaville

Posted on October 9, 2023

Cayo margarita snail

Researchers have discovered a new colorful snail in the coral reef of the Florida Keys. The bright yellow snail has been named Cayo margarita in honor of Margaritaville from the popular Jimmy Buffett song.

The researchers also identified a lemon colored cousin of the snail from Belize. This snail species was named Cayo galbinu.

Rüdiger Bieler, curator of invertebrates at the Field Museum in Chicago and the study’s lead author, says in the announcement, "I find them particularly cool because they are related to regular free-living snails, but when the juveniles find a suitable spot to live, they hunker down, cement their shell to the substrate, and never move again. Their shell continues to grow as an irregular tube around the snail’s body, and the animal hunts by laying out a mucus web to trap plankton and bits of detritus."

The above photograph by Bieler is a closeup of the Cayo galbinus. The two black dots are the snail's eyes.

The snails were announced in an article published in PeerJ.

Image: Rudiger Bieler

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