Big Pottsburg Creek At Belfort Road, Southeastern Duval County, Florida

    As part of an on-going project to formally document the presence of Pomacea paludosa (Say, 1829) [Florida Applesnail] in northeast Florida, on 6/2/2006 this reporter conducted a visit to the far upper portion of Big Pottsburg Creek immediately adjacent Belfort Road and near St. Lukes Hospital in southeastern Duval County.

    Immediately upon arrival at the Belfort Road Bridge over the creek, a large number of Pomacea egg clutches were clearly visible on vegetation in and along the creek and a limited number of adult snails were seen crawling on the creek bottom. Additional egg clutches were also present on the concrete bridge support pilings. A nearby man made retention pond was then investigated and a breeding population of Pomacea was found below the impoundment spillway. A follow-up visit was made to the area the next day and the retention pond was also found to have a modest breeding population of Pomacea. Apparently during a period of high water the snails had migrated upstream from the creek to the pond. Pottsburg Creek was then followed upstream to the point where it exhibited the characteristics of a swamp rather than a flowing creek. At a recently constructed large concrete bridge over the swamp on Gate Parkway West the full extent of the Pomacea population was on display with the bridge structure covered with recent Pomacea egg clutches.

    This Pomacea paludosa discovery is without a doubt the largest contiguous concentration of the species thus far identified in Duval County. Since the Big Pottsburg Creek watershed has at least 2.5 miles of suitable Pomacea habitat combined with the fact that the snails have previously been found in other even smaller downstream tributaries of the creek (Drainage Ditch On Parental Home Road and Bennett Branch On Bowden Road), it appears likely the entire drainage system is populated by Pomacea.

Retention pond with breeding population of Pomacea

Retention pond dam where Pomacea were found Specimens from the creek/retention pond dam
Retention pond dam where Pomacea were found  Specimens from the creek/retention pond dam

Gate Parkway Bridge over the swamp

Some of the many Pomacea egg clutches on the bridge

Gate Parkway Bridge over the swamp Some of the many Pomacea egg clutches on the bridge

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