Daedalochila auriculata (Say, 1818) Ocala Liptooth Near Buddy Boys Country Store

St. Johns County, Florida

Buddy Boys Country Store

    Between June 29th and late August this reporter made a number of successful Daedalochila auriculata collecting trips to the vicinity of the Outback Crab Shack at the north end of the Route 13 bridge over Six Mile Creek, where the species is present on both the east and west roadside swales of this north-south running county road. Thus far this is the only known location in the county where the snail colony has been found dispersed over such a wide area. The known populations elsewhere appear to be confined to a relatively compact area on only a single side of the road.

    During a visit to the crab shack area on August 26, 2008 it was decided to walk approximately 100 yards across the bridge over  Six Mile Creek and check the southern bridge approaches to see if Daedalochila might be present there as well. The southeastern bridge approach (GPS: 29.57293N 081.32416W - WGS-84 Datum) was checked first (below right), and within minutes a number of empty Daedalochila auriculata shells were found. Ultimately, a single live specimen was found in sparse vegetation near the road, and the presence of empty shells indicated that the colony extended at least 150 yards south towards Buddy Boys Country Store at the intersection of Route 13 and Joe Ashton Road. Crossing the road, the southwestern bridge approach (below left) was then investigated, and an even larger number of empty Daedalochila shells were found there. The day's visit ultimately yielded 50 specimens. A follow-up visit was made the next day, and an additional 22 empty shells were found. A further single live specimen was found in heavy roadside vegetation on the southwestern bridge approach. An additional follow-up visit was made to the area on August 30th and three additional live specimens were found in roadside vegetation as well as an additional 30 empty shells. A final visit was made to the area on 9/2/2008 and three additional live specimens were found beneath sparse vegetation in the roadside swale.

    Tropical Storm Fay's meandering track through northeast Florida just days prior to this reporter's visits caused tremendous flooding in the area during which the water rose some 10 feet and inundated a portion of the Daedalochila habitat as well as Route 13. It appears likely that even more specimens were present prior to the heavy rain and flood and were washed into the nearby swamp.

    A return visit was subsequently made to the site on 9/26/2008. Five living Daedalochila auriculata, including one very juvenile specimen, were found. This probably was a direct result of Six Mile Creek being in a flood state which had inundated some of the less accessible Daedalochila habitat in the roadside swale thus causing the snails to seek higher ground.

    To take advantage of the high water state, another visit was made to the site on 9/28/2008. An additional four live specimens were found that included another juvenile specimen - only the second living juvenile specimen that this reporter has found.

Daedalochila Habitat

Southwestern bridge approach

Southeastern bridge approach

Southwestern bridge approach

Southeastern bridge approach

Daedalochila habitat looking south towards Buddy Boys Country Store

Daedalochila habitat looking south towards Buddy Boys Country Store

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