Fire snails are probably one of the coolest looking snails ever
1. Fire snails can only be found in Malaysia and are the largest endemic snails in the country
It was first discovered in Telom Valley, Cameron Highlands in 1938. However, since then, it has also been spotted in Temenggor in Perak and Kelantan – but never anywhere else.
Known as Platymma tweediei, the mollusk is also called 'fire snail' because of its bright, red foot.
It has a distinctive, black shell, which TBH, contrasts perfectly with its red colour and adds to its gangster vibe.
According to OddityCentral, its shell can grow up to 7cm in diameter.
2. Fire snails live within a 100km radius in Cameron Highlands
It loves cool yet humid weather, which explains why it survives in Tanah Rata compared to places in Europe.
Malacologist (a zoologist who studies mollusks) Junn Kitt Foon believes that the rare snail is found within a 100km radius of Cameron Highlands and lives 1,000 metres above sea level because it can only survive in specific conditions.
4. Fire snails are seen as treasured items among exotic pet keepers, especially in Germany, Russia, Czech Republic, and Malaysia itself
Forums suggest that the snail became popular among snail terrarium hobbyists because of its large size and bright red colour.
However, it is also said that they are difficult to breed in captivity and are often not able to survive for very long when taken out of their natural habitat. This means that collectors have to constantly source new ones.
Deforestation in Malaysia is another reason why fire snails are on the brink of extinction.
Based on Foon's report in 2014, Malaysia lost 23% of its cloud forests to tourist development and commercial logging, including those in Cameron Highlands.
In conclusion, although these are beautiful creatures, they're probably best left in their natural habitat
Habitat loss and wildlife trade on fire snails threatens the survival of this species, so please do not buy them as pets.
And if you happen to spot them in forests, let them live!