Such Stunning Snails…

Kauri snails. Ever heard of them? They’re carnivorous, egg-laying snails endemic to New Zealand. So I’m guessing most of you haven’t heard of them!

And, they…

  • are long-lived: they can live for twenty years or more!
  • grow BIG. Shell diameter up to 79mm.
  • are carnivorous – their diet consists of earthworms, insects, insect larvae, and snails.
  • are very active – for snails. They’ve been known to move a whole 10 metres in two weeks!

Kauri snails/pupurangi (Paryphanta spp.) belong to the group of northern giant land snails, which contain some of New Zealand’s largest snails.

NB: References to “DOC” below refer to New Zealand’s Department of Conservation.


Kauri Snail

Source: DOC web page

and they lay eggs…

Kauri snail eggs. Photo: Gregory Sherley

The above photo is what prompted me to write this post – I had no idea that these snails laid eggs! The post with this photo was published this morning on the Conservation blog by the Department of Conservation.

“Snail hatchlings spend an unknown period living in trees and shrubs up to 6 metres above the ground.”

See this DOC web page for more information.



There are also Powelliphanta snails:

Powelliphanta snails used to be known as Paryphanta snails, until the 1970s. Now, Paryphanta refers only to kauri snails, which live north of Auckland.

Powelliphanta snail. This photo that was taken by DOC’s John Mason.
  • Found in wet native forests and alpine tussock, especially around north–west Nelson and north Westland.
  • Their shells come in an array of colours and patterns, ranging from hues of red and brown to yellow and black.
  • The largest species is Powelliphanta superba prouseorum, found in Kahurangi National Park and measuring about 9 cm across. These are the sumo wrestlers of the snail world, weighing in at 90 g.
  • Powelliphanta snails are carnivores. They particularly like earthworms, and suck them up through their mouth just like we eat spaghetti. They are also known to eat slugs.

There’s a photo on this DOC web page of an ALBINO snail !!!   Its AMAZING !!!

Who would have thought!  (It’s about half-way down the page.)

Information about the Powelliphanta snails is taken from:

Photo of the week: Powelliphanta snails  DOC blog post

Powelliphanta Snail  DOC web page
Posted by Exploring Colour (2017)

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