As the Northwest Times (Quest Newspapers) writes, ‘Life at a Snail’s pace might sound dull but the slow moving molluscs have lead one Albany Creek researcher on adventures more suited to an Indiana Jones movie than a lab‘.
At the Bush Blitz trip to Quinkan in far north Queensland, two new snail species were discovered but not before the Snail Whisperer suffered a tarantula bite. One species, a carnivorous snail, is separated from its closest relative at the Undara lava fields by 250km. The dry sandstone escarpments of this area are an unlikely environment for snails but the pockets of rainforest in this area showed that these animals representing 6% of terrestrial biodiversity, endure in even the smallest patches.
Conserving even small patches of vine thickets and rainforest is crucial to the survival of invertebrates.
Thanks to two avid Griffith Uni students, we have more photos of snails dining out in style. Here Fraser’s Banded Snail (Sphaerospira fraseri) eats its way through a fungi at Mt Glorious. Photos: Ben Revell and Kris Oettinger.
Exciting news. Book 2 is printed and due to arrive in Australia next week. The book will be available through the Queensland and Australian (Sydney) Museum bookshops shortly. More to come.
Griffith University science students, Kris and Tim managed some amazing night shots of our native snails out and about in Mt Glorious, south-east Queensland during their studies of snail populations of this rainforest area.
Photos were taken by Ben Revell and show Thersites richmondiana and Sphaerospira fraseri on their nocturnal journeys. Richmondiana is enjoying a feast on a fungus, one of our native snails’ favourite foods.
Photo: Simon Grove/ Australian Museum
Photo: James Morgan
This beautiful Tasmanian snail Attenborougharion rubicundus was named in honour of Sir David Attenborough. This colourful semi-slug’s usual habitat is restricted to a small area of south-east Tasmania in wet forests on the Tasman and Forestier peninsulas. The species was first described in 1978 and classified in the genus, Helicarion. However, recent work by the Australian Museum scientists have shown it is a separate genus.
This is the first genus to be named after Sir David who already has been named in 12 species.
During this visit to Sydney in early February, 2017, he was honoured by being named patron of Australia’s first museum, The Australian Museum.
Here are some of our beautiful helicarionids [semi-slugs and glass snails] from eastern Australia.
L to R: Thularion semoni, Mt Sorrow, Queensland. J. Stanisic; Mysticarion porrectus, Point Lookout, NE New South Wales. Photo: Fran Guard; Macularion albimaculosa, Lamington, South Queensland. Photo: IBISCA; Parmavitrina megastoma, east of Tenterfield, eastern, New South Wales. Photo: Jan White.
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Enjoy 2 opportunities to hear the Snail Whisperer next weekend:
Saturday, 30 April, 2016
- 7am on ABC Radio
- 10:15am John is speaking at the Planting, Woodfordia [Sunshine Coast hinterland, Queensland]
63 Earlyactors and Interactors spent time with the Snail Whisperer at the recent Earlyact/Interact Conference for Rotary District 9600 at Caboolture, Queensland. Sharing what they wrote:
Congratulations to 1C at Samford State School – our newest Junior Snail Whisperers. They have been learning about nocturnal and diurnal animals in science and have found out that snails are mainly nocturnal but have many interesting features!