To date (1/9/2011) live Daedalochila auriculata have only
been found at four locations in Duval County, Florida and in only
very limited numbers (less than a dozen) at two of those locations.
Since the species is quite common in rural St. Johns County just
to the south, it appears likely that prior to rampant development
and destruction of habitat Duval County too had many Daedalochila
auriculata populations. To test this theory it was decided to
see if a new Daedalochila auriculata population could be
established in an area of the county where no living specimens had
previously been found. The site chosen for the attempted
establishment of a new colony was along the shoreline of a retention
pond adjacent to a commercial business known as "Ameritape" located
11236-100 St. Johns Industrial
Parkway South, just west of St.
Johns Bluff Road in the southeastern part of the county. This site
was chosen because it already housed a large and thriving population
of Daedalochila uvulifera (Shuttleworth, 1852) [Peninsula
Lipooth), had a permanent source of moisture which is preferred by
the species, was a location lacking apparent snail predators, and
was a location unlikely to be disturbed by man.
To start the experiment, on 12/18/2010 nine adult Daedalochila
auriculata were released in two
the shoreline of the southwest corner of retention pond (see image
The specimens were placed under man-made piles of dried vegetation
and had previously been collected from either the roadside swale
along County Road 13 (CR-13) just northeast of Picolata in
western St. Johns County (see:
Daedalochila auriculata Near Bass Haven
Lane) or near
Old St. Augustine Road In Duval County. During the
"planting" of the specimens, four live D. uvulifera
were found in the area and removed.
- 12/24/2010 -
Five of the nine planted specimens
were found in the same locations where they were released. A
total of five live D. uvulifera had arrived since
12/18/2010 and were removed from the area.
12/26/2010 - Five of the nine planted specimens were found in
the same locations where they were released.
12/31/2010 - Four of the nine planted specimens were found in
the same locations where they were released.
- Eight of the nine planted specimens could not be found in the
area. The single specimen that was found appeared to be alive.
Four additional live
Daedalochila auriculata were
released into the area - bringing the total of specimens
released to date to 13. These specimens too had been collected
from the roadside swale along CR-13 in St. Johns County
(1/2/2011). A total of four live D. uvulifera were
found in the area and removed.
- Only two of the 13 planted Daedalochila auriculata
specimens could be located in the release area and both
specimens appeared to be alive and well. Five additional live
specimens, previously collected in northwestern Duval County on
Plummer Road, were released into the area bringing the total
number of specimens planted thus far to 18.
- Two additional Daedalochila auriculata, previously
collected near the Outback Crab Shack in St. Johns County, were
released into the area bringing the total of specimens planted
thus far to 20. A cursory search failed to yield any live D.
auriculata that were liberated previously. However, four
of the specimens planted earlier were found deceased and removed
from the area thus leaving 16 specimens.
- Only one of the 16 remaining planted specimens could be
located which indicates that the snails had dispersed from the
areas where they had been introduced. Two live D.
uvulifera had moved into the plant area and were removed.
- Only one of the 16 planted D. auriculata could
be located. However, five D. uvulifera had moved
into the area and were removed.
- Two additional live D. auriculata, collected in
St. Johns County, were released into the plant area bringing the
total of live specimens at the site to 18. None of the
previously released specimens could be located. However, six
live D. uvulifera had moved into the area and were
- Two additional live D. auriculata, collected
elsewhere in Duval County, were released into the plant area
bringing the total of live specimens at the site to 20. A brief
search yielded eight probably living D. uvulifera
and one D. auriculata.
10/29/2011 - The plant area was thoroughly searched and 15 live
D. uvulifera were found in addition to about 50
empty shells. However, only a single empty D.
auriculata shell could be located thus leaving 19 specimens
unaccounted for and presumed to have moved out of the area.
- Two empty D. auriculata shells were recovered
from the plant area leaving 17 specimens unaccounted for. In
early 2011 construction began on a Navy credit union on property
adjacent to the Daedalochila plant area and considerable
vegetation was cleared from the site. By August of 2012 the
entire area was bulldozed/cleared and the Daedalochila
habitat was destroyed. It remains to be seen whether any snails
representing the two Daedalochila species survived this
activity. (See page two for images of the
plant site before and after construction.)