Polymita picta


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Polymita picta, common name the Cuban land snail or the Painted snail, is a species of large, air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Helminthoglyptidae.

This species is the type species of the genus Polymita.

This snail is endemic to Cuba. These arboreal molluscs live mainly in coastal habitats in the subtropical forest, with a preference for certain tree species including Chrysobalanus icaco, Metopium toxifera, Metopium brownei, Bursera simarouba and Coccoloba retusa.

Shells of Polymita picta can reach a length of about 20 millimetres (0.79 in). These large shells are shiny and very brightly colored. Nornally they show a bright yellow color with a white stripe, but the species is well known for its colourful shell polymorphism, with numerous color varieties.

These shells are sought after by poachers and used to make jewelry and trinkets. As a result, the species has become endangered. It is a protected species since 1943 by the Cuban legislation which prohibits the export except for scientific reasons. source

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