Vermetid “Spiderman” Snails Discovered by CBU Biology Professor

 Dr. Tim A. Rawlings

Articles about this PeerJ paper have been published in The New York Times: “The Mucus-Shooting Worm-Snail That Turned Up in the Florida Keys”; in The National Geographic: “New Slime-Shooting Snail Found On Shipwreck”, in LiveScience: “Newfound ‘Spider-Man’ Snail Is an Expert Web Slinger.”

Non-native molluscan colonizers on deliberately placed shipwrecks in the Florida Keys, with description of a new species of potentially invasive worm-snail (Gastropoda: Vermetidae)

Discovery of new species of worm-snail that has become established on an artificial reef in the Florida Keys. This one is pretty special: It shoots slime, lives on shipwrecks, and could have major implications for coral reef restoration. These direct-developing species have the demonstrated capacity for colonizing habitats isolated far from their native ranges and establishing rapidly growing founder populations. As this new species appears to be non-native, and it has the potential to be invasive, it may be one of many species that are able to gain a foothold on artificial reefs as a starting point to moving into natural habitats – in this case, the already stressed coral reefs of the Florida Keys.

Non-native and potentially non-native invertebrate species observed and collected on the wrecks off the Florida Keys; Bieler R, Granados-Cifuentes C, Rawlings TA, Sierwald P, Collins TM. (2017), PeerJ 5:e3158



Shell morphology and radula of Thylacodes vandyensis n. sp. (all from collecting event FK-1148, 9 January 2016, about 29 m)
External morphology and living coloration of Thylacodes vandyensis n. sp.
Egg capsule, mucous net feeding, and fouling community of Thylacodes vandyensis n. sp.; all in or from about 29 m depth, September 2016; Bieler R, Granados-Cifuentes C, Rawlings TA, Sierwald P, Collins TM. (2017), PeerJ 5:e3158


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