Facts about kauri snail
There are two species of kauri snail:
- Paryphanta busbyi - up to 79 mm shell diameter, distribution from Kaitaia south (Northland only)
- Paryphanta watti - up to 62 mm shell diameter, distribution: northern Northland (Te Paki)
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.
- 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.
- The kauri snail is carnivorous and cannibalistic. Its diet consists of earthworms, insects, insect larvae, and snails.
- Kauri snails are also highly mobile, and have been known to move 10 metres in 2 weeks.
Kauri snails inhabit moist areas of forest and native scrub. They live in areas of high soil fertility and abundant earthworms.