Australia has about 3000 species of native land snails occurring in a wide range of environments from saltbush plains to tropical rainforests. Some of our introduced and native species are featured here.
Introduced species (vegetarian)
Our Native Snails (none of our native snails will eat your garden!)
- Bush and Panda Snails (Caryodidae)–
- Carnivorous Snails (Rhytididae)
- Glass snails and semi-slugs (Helicarionidae)
- Woodland Snails (Camaenidae)
- Native Slugs (Athoracophoridae)
- Pinwheel Snails (Charopidae)
We have 3 types of snail forms:
SNAILS: Terrestrial or land snails with a well developed external shell into which the animal can fully retreat have evolved from marine snails about 350 millions years ago
SEMI-SLUGS are snails with a partly reduced shell which is too small for the snail to retreat into fully
SLUGS which are land snails that have evolved to live without their shell. They often have a rudimentary shell internally
Snails and slugs represent 6% of the world’s terrestrial fauna. They have 2 subclasses or groups.
- OPERCULATES: These snails have an open pallial cavity which absorbs oxygen and 1 pair of tentacles. Australia has about 130 species.
- PULMONATES which have a lung and 2 pairs of tentacles. These are much more prolific and Australia has about 3000 species