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#3. Odessa Talks to Oreo about the Rosy Wolf Snails:

Eulandia rosea
(Ferussac, 1818)

Hello Oreo,

Today we got a new house! Lots bigger, remember there are eight of us living in this terrarium. I'm still sleeping and so is my best friend Demeter. I shouldn't have made fun of my mates the other day for going to sleep on the window of my house. That's where I am right now and you know what - It's actually quite comfortable! Mom said, I'm stuck there with my own natural super glue.


Last night while Mom was getting our new house fixed up. She started to tell us another story. This one was even scarier then the first story about Applesnails. This is because this story could happen to one of us! It gave me and my mates nightmares.

Demeter asleep on the terrarium glass

This story was about another one of the world's MOST WANTED SNAILS. The Rosy Wolfsnail (in Latin: Eulandina rosea - author: Ferussac, 1818). It's actually a very pretty snail, but, "It's a Predator". When it is introduced to places its not native too, horrible things happen. The Rosy Wolfsnail can climb trees and has even been know to go under water after it's prey.

Mom told us a story about what happened when man introduced the Rosy Wolfsnail to Hawaii. (Rosy Wolfsnails are from Florida). Its a sad story and will make you cry Oreo - my dear friend. But sad or not we have to get the word out to others on this tragic train of events.

Remember I told you that the Rosy Wolfsnail is a predator, well it is actually a cannibal. What it eats is other snails. "YIKES!!! Double YIKES!"

Well in Hawaii the native snails have few natural predators and certainly no predators that are snails. So, they have had no reason to learn to defend themselves against cannibal snails. There were no Cannibal snails natually in Hawaii to have to defend themselves against. Consequently, this defensive behavior was never learned. They never had to develop protctive mechanisms in order to defend themselves against such a cannibalistic predator thus they evolved through the centuries quite defensless. This made it oh so easy Making it very easy for the Rosy Wolf snail to overpower it, enter the poor snails shell and eat the poor defenseless snail.

Oh Oreo, can you just imagine, having no way to save yourself?

I know you are thinking. How bad can they be? That's what I thought at first, then Mom went on to tell me that she read online that 50% to 75% of Hawaiian native snails are GONE!

The Rosy Wolfsnail has played a huge part of this tragedy. When I say they are gone I mean they are gone EXTINCT!!!! Never more will their beauty be seen by man. Others are almost almost extinct and are classified as endangered!

The Rosy Wolfsnail lays 25 to 40 eggs a year. It lays more eggs then any native Hawaiian snail. The only enemy the Rosy Wolfsnail has are the rats (another non-native species to Hawaii brought in by man) and birds. However, as most Hawaiian birds eat eat insects. You and I know rats can't climb trees. So it will increase in numbers much faster then the Hawaiian snails, very few snails get eaten.

Self collected over a period of three months from the Kaananpali Resorts on Maui, Hawaii 1984

Same shells Ventral side view

Oreo, I'm really and truly scared for our friends in Hawaii. The Hawaiians and other countries around the world experiencing the same problems are trying to find methods to control these snail but it is a very slow progress. It is too late for many species already and more will disappear just as sure as can be, before a good and a safe solution is found.

Mom continued this true story with these words: "You and Oreo have a big job ahead of you. You MUST keep reminding people of that even though Rosy Wolfnails are not kept as pets, you have a BIG job ahead of us to teach people to be responsible so they will protect all of their envirnments and all of their natural inhabitants".

Oreo, you see, the Rosy Wolfsnail was brought to Hawaii on purpose by "MAN"! Their original idea must have seemed good, but, can you even imagine doing something so irresponsible? What were they thinking? Mom said, they brought Rosy Wolfsnails into eat the very troublesome and also another MOST WANTED SNAIL the Giant African Landsnail, which was also brought in to Hawaii by - of course - another than "MAN" himself. (That's another story Mom is going to tell us sometime. OH GOLLY GEEZ, more nightmares.)

BIG MISTAKE ! If these people had only studied the habits of the Rosy Wolfsnail, they would have found out it that it prefers to eat small snails, and rarely even tries to eat anything twice its size. The Giant African Landsnail is a hundred times the size of a Rosy Wolfsnail!

Oreo, no matter how much this upsets and scares me, I have my humans and friends by my side to comfort and protect me and I have you to tell my worries to. You, I and our human care givers have our work cut out for us to tell people of other tragic stories of snails that have been plunked down in nonnative areas of the world. Maybe just maybe we can make a difference. It all about responsibility. Oreo - Because of you, encouraging me to tell my story... I too can make a differnce in this world. That makes me feel good - real good!

I have some other things that have been going on I wanted to tell you and show you about my mates and me. I will have to do this another time. I'm all worded out for the night.

Goodnight my friend,

PS: Mom showed us this video of what Rosy Wolfsnails do when they attack and eat other snails. It is worse then scary! See for yourself, but be sure your Mom is there to hold your foot. It's real scarry!



See: The "Most Wanted Poster" for the Euglandina rosea The Rosy Wolfsnail:
by Oreo and Odessa
edited for content by Avril Bourquin


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