On a recent walk along the lake, Anne pointed out white egg masses “glued” to the stalks and leaves of semi-aquatic plants growing at the edge of the water. “Snail eggs,” I replied. I took a few photographs and examined them at home. They were the egg cases of Florida’s largest fresh water snail – the Florida apple snail. Baby snails hatch several weeks later and climb into the water to begin their lives.
These snails are herbivores (vegetarians) and prefer to eat aquatic plants and algae. Snails are escargot for alligators, fish, kites and limpkins. Camouflage helps them “hide” in plain sight, but if threatened these snails drop and bury in the muck at the bottom of the pond.
What is most interesting about these snails is that they have both gills and lungs. This enables them to survive droughts when lakes dry up. Additionally, their lungs make it possible to come out of the water to eat plants when food is scarce in the lake.
This is just one of many amazing creatures that call Lake Tsala Apopka home!