Marine experts have discovered a new snail species off the coast of Florida, specifically in the Keys, an area known for being the home of the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, as reported by SWNS.
These snails were named Cayo galbinus, translating to “small, low island” and “greenish-yellow,” honoring their vibrant citrus color resembling a margarita from Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” on the Florida Keys island.
The Florida Keys were home to Jimmy Buffett for decades, the iconic musician who passed away last month at the age of 76, and who was inspired by this area for his hit song “Margaritaville.”
Margarita-inspired snail species uncovered in Florida
The discovery was published in the journal Peer J, and the lead study author Dr. Rudiger Bieler told SWNS that these snails are unique in that they never move once anchored to the ground.
“When the juveniles find a suitable spot to live, they hunker down, cement their shell to the substrate and never move again,” he explained.
Bieler pointed out that these snails are “so small and so well-hidden” that they hadn’t been discovered by scientists until now.
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It’s believed that these new margarita snails belong to the same family as the “Spider-Man” snails that were described from the Vandenberg shipwreck in 2017 off the coast of the Florida Keys, as reported by SWNS.
The USAFS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg was originally a transport ship from 1944 to 1958 before becoming a U.S. Air Force missile range instrumentation ship in 1961, according to the Michigan Traveler. In 2009, 26 years after its retirement, the ship was sunk seven miles south of Key West, Florida, where it lays today, as per The Florida Keys & Key West.
Bieler and his colleagues encountered the snails in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and even found similar-colored species in Belize.
“Initially, when I saw the lime green one and the lemon yellow one, I figured they were the same species,” he recalled.
But upon sequencing their DNA, they found them to be very different. Bieler concluded that this discovery proves that there are still undiscovered species on Earth.
With information from Fox News