Snail identification

All terrestrial snails and slugs have a similar external gastropod body, subject to degrees of variation. Most Field Guides, data bases and Apps describe external characteristics with the shell being the most useful tool in identification.

Malacolgists use anatomical features such as reproductive tract structures and radulae [multi-toothed feeding ribbon]. The use of DNA sampling to determine species is also a key tool for scientists.

A number of tools here will help most people identify our more common species.


Museums throughout Australia have exciting new Apps to help you identify many of our more common snails.Field Guide App Victoria

Link to the Victorian Museum for the free App for each state and territory on Australia. These are suitable for both Apple and Android phones, IPads and tablets.

Field Guides

These Field Guides are the most comprehensive and up-to-date resources on Australian Land Snails. These guides include descriptions, colour images, key localities and distributions, habitat and ecology. A Remarks section provides relevant distinguishing details including notes on the live animal where appropriate.

Volume 1: A Field Guide to eastern Australian Species

Volume 2: A Field Guide to southern, central and western species

ALS front cover vol 2











Queensland Museum has  further resources on Molluscs and snails.

  • Click on this snail to go to the site.



 Australian WebsitesAFD

  • The Australian Faunal Directory is a comprehensive list of Australian species of snails
  • The Atlas of Living Australia Altas of Living Australia


Fact Sheets, Talks, Consultancy, Seminars P4 Giant Panda

FACT SHEET Common land snails of the Mt Glorious rainforests

Contact the Snail Whisperer

  • Identification of snails and snail information
  • Conference organisers and key note speaking
  • Environmental assessment
  • Media: To request an interview with Dr John Stanisic.

The Snail Whisperer logo

Other Countries

  • Link to identifying terrestrial Gastropods in other countries

Introduction to Terrestrial Mollusc Tool: Author: Jodi White-McLean (Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida)