The flamingo tongue snail is a species of small but brightly colored sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Ovulidae, and the cowry allies. The scientific name of this colorful sea creature is Cyphoma gibbosum. It is from the family of Ovulidae and from the Class of Gastropoda. Although the live animal is brightly colored, which color is only in the soft parts but the shell itself is plain white.
The Flamingo Tongue Snail, order of Neotaenioglossa and member of the phylum Mollusca, is a marine gastropod, lives sub-tidally and is common on many Caribbean and southern Atlantic coral reefs. It is about once inch long and depth is 30 feet. Flamingo tongue snails are recognized world wide as having beautiful and colorful shells. It is very popular and sold worldwide for jewelry products.
Many scuba divers make the mistake of thinking that the brightly colored spots are on the shell permanently but the color of the shell is due to the mantle of the animal inside the shell. When the animal dies, all that is left is the apricot colored shell. When alive, the snail appears yellow-orange with irregular shaped spots ringed in black. However, the mantle can be retracted, exposing the shell. This snail is extremely over-collected and must be protected.
We know that, corals are the foundation for all life on the tropical coral reef. It’s build entire islands, give the shelter to fishes, sea creatures and provide food for lots of sea animals but the Flamingo Tongue Snail is the only one animal that couldn't survive without corals.
The Flamingo Tongue Snail lives in the tropical waters of the Western Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the
Lesser Antilles. It
can also be found from North Carolina, the
Bermudas to Northern Brazil.