- Elephant snails are a type of semi-rare solitary marine snail (mollusc) and look like a black slugs with a small white, shield-like shell on their backs.
- The shell never covers the full length of their bodies and their body can sometimes fold up and completely cover the shell.
- Size: 70-150 mm
What to Observe
Search area for 30 minutes and record under the following categories:
- Abundant - found easily with little searching
- Frequent - found with minimal searching
- Rare - only 1 or 2 individuals found with intensive searching
- Not found - not present during search
ClimateWatch Science Advisor
Elephant snails, like all marine snails (molluscs), are under increasing stress due to ocean acidification which can weaken their calcium carbonate shells and reduce body condition. This makes them more prone to disease, predation and low reproduction. Increasing water temperature as a result of climate change will likely affect their abundance and cause a southward shift in their distribution.
When To Look
Throughout the year
Where To Look
- Common on rocky shores, around the low tide level. Usually found in rock pools, water filled crevices and under rocks.
- Can tolerate mid exposure, but prefer moist conditions.
- Geraldton WA, SA, TAS, VIC, NSW up to Bowen QLD.
The map below displays the accumulated observations of these species as reported by ClimateWatch observers, together with the layer showing how the range of the species might change between now and 2085, with orange areas indicating where the species might disappear, and green areas where the species range might expand.
Davey, K. (1998). A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. New Holland Publishers Australia Pty Ltd.
Edger, GJ. (2008). Australian Marine Life. The Plants and Animals of Temperate Waters [2nd Ed]. New Holland Publishers Australia Pty Ltd.