Carnivorous Snail – Things you did not know about New Zealand wildlife

Powelliphanta lignaria johnstoni DOC 2003

The South Island of New Zealand is home to a carnivorous snail!

The powelliphanta is the largest carnivorous snail in the world. They can grow as large as a man’s fist and suck up worms like spaghetti. You can find them in the South Island in Haast and Fiordland National Park.

Hidden away in New Zealand’s forests and grasslands is a bewildering array of native land snails, which range from the microscopic to the massive.

Among these are at least 16 species and 57 sub-species of Powelliphanta – which represent some of the most distinctive invertebrates in New Zealand.

Powelliphanta snails are not your common garden snail! In fact, they are totally unlike garden snails, which are a European import and an unwanted garden pest. Powelliphanta are giants of the snail world. They are also beautiful. Their oversize shells come in an array of colours and patterns, ranging from hues of red and brown to yellow and black.

I have enough trouble in my garden with the normal variety of snail! Thankfully I don’t have to worry about this huge one in the area I live!