Types of snails

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!)

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

P1 Mitchells Rain Forest Snail

SEMI-SLUGS are snails with a partly reduced shell which is too small for the snail to retreat into fully

P1 Semi snail

SLUGS which are land snails that have evolved to live without their shell. They often have a rudimentary shell internally

P1 slug

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.

Flared-lip Chrysalis-snail (Necopupina patcouperi)



Murray River Shrubland Snail (Cupedora Cassandra)

  • PULMONATES which have  a lung and 2 pairs of tentacles. These are much more prolific and Australia has about 3000 species

Murray River Shrubland Snail (Cupedora Cassandra)