Photo of the week: Powelliphanta snails

Department of Conservation —  09/10/2013

Our photo of the week is this beautiful Powelliphanta snail, a large, air-breathing, carnivorous land snail endemic to New Zealand.

Powelliphanta snail. Photo: John Mason.

Their shells come in an array of colours and patterns, ranging from hues of red and brown to yellow and black. Their favourite prey is earthworms, but they are also known to eat slugs. Powelliphanta snails are an integral part of New Zealand’s unique fauna, and were as important in evolutionary terms as kiwikākāpō or moa.

Predation and habitat loss are the major threats to this species, although their outlook is improving with DOC undertaking work to protect these snails on the West Coast through long-term monitoring, translocation and captive breeding.

This photo that was taken by DOC’s John Mason.

2 responses to Photo of the week: Powelliphanta snails

  1. 

    One of my most thrilling moments when walking the Heaphy Track was seeing these amazing snails. The sheer size and colouration was something I never expected. Great photo.

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