Painted snail Polymita picta
The shell of Cuban land snail Polymita picta resembles a colorful spiral abstract painting of an artist, whose name is Nature. Due to the richness and variety of colors – white, yellow, red and black, these snails are not able to get lost, even against the background of iridescent tropical vegetation of the Oriente Province in eastern Cuba – the only place in the world where Painted snail Polymita picta is born. The combinations of colors are so varied and unique to each individual snail that not to notice it, despite the relatively small diameter (about three inches) is almost impossible. These shells are sought after by poachers and used to make jewelry and trinkets. As a result, the species has become endangered.
In the winter, when all nature sleeps, the snails stop all possible livelihoods and fall into hibernation. After a long tropical rain green juicy leaves and trunks of trees are covered with bright spots – it’s awakened from the sleep snails in search of their favorite food – microscopic algae, lichens and fungi.
Favorite season of painted snail Polymita picta – spring, when the first tropical rains begin, and there comes a desired for procreation wet season. More than two dozen eggs, wintering in warm humus under trees, start a new life. As they grow older they will change their sex, while laying eggs once a year, and later in life – twice a year. Like most air-breathing land snails, this species is hermaphroditic. This species uses love darts as part of its mating behavior.