In this section:

Facts about flax snail

Flax snail, Mokohinau Islands. Photo: Terry Greene.
Flax snail

Flax snail habitat, Taupiri Island, Cape Maria van Diemen. Photo: Greg Sherley.
Flax snail habitat, Taupiri Island, Cape Maria van Diemen

There are three species of flax snail:

  • Placostylus bollonsi - up to 115 mm long (shell length), distribution: Three Kings Islands
  • Placostylus ambagiosus - up to 94 mm long (shell length), distribution: Te Paki
  • Placostylus hongii - up to 85 mm long (shell length), distribution: eastern Northland

These giants were once widespread in Northland before human settlement. Many of them are now endangered or threatened, and inhabit a more restricted area of Northland and the islands offshore.

Interesting ecology

  • Giant snails may live to 20 years or more.
  • Mating appears to be triggered by climatic conditions, such as rainfall, and can last for 10 hours or more.
  • Snail hatchlings spend an unknown period living in trees and shrubs up to 6 metres above the ground.
  • Flax snail diet includes fallen leaves from broadleaf plants.

Habitat

Flax snails usually live in broadleaf forest and scrub. They reside in pockets of broadleaf litter, or under ground cover vegetation.

 

Find out more

Publications

Learn more

Contacts

DOC's 24 hour emergency hotline:

0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)

Call to report sick or injured wildlife, and whale or dolphin strandings.