Steve Irwin’s Treesnail

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Gastropoda

Sub-order: Pulmonata

Family: Camaenidae

Genus: Crikey

Species: steveirwini


This strikingly coloured treesnail described in 2009 was named Crikey steveirwini in memory of the late Steve Irwin, wildlife warrior, environmental educator and Queensland Museum medallist by the Snail Whisperer [also a Queensland Museum medallist] himself. Like its namesake, this rainforest treesnail is both dazzling and impressive. The small, (15mm) rare species has a high spire and is creamy yellow with coppery brown spiral bands. To date, it has only been found at a few localities in the Central Wet Tropics region of north-eastern Queensland.

This is an extremely rare species of snail. So far it has only been found in three locations, all on the summits of high mountains in far north Queensland and at altitudes above 1 000 metres which is quite unusual for Australian land snails.

These mountainous habitats will be among the first to feel the effects of climate change and Steve Irwin’s tree snail could become a focal species for monitoring this change.

In contrast with its more drab coloured ground-dwelling relatives, Crikey steveirwini is a colourful snail, with swirling bands of creamy yellow, orange-brown and chocolate giving the shell an overall khaki appearance.

The khaki colour that drew the connection to the late Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, gave the Snail Whisperer the idea to name it Crikey steveirwini.

Additional Information:

Atlas of Living Australia

Zootaxa [A mega-journal for zoological taxonomists in the world]

Australia’s Top 10 New Species, Australian Science Teacher’s Association, Bush Blitz