Giant Panda Snail
This Queensland and New South Wales resident is the largest snail in Australia. It frequents the sub-tropical rainforests of the east coast where it looms over other snails.
How big can it get?
When it is fully-grown it is the size of a tennis ball. Its shell is approximately 90 millimetres high whilst its body can reach 15 centimetres (6 inches) in length.
What does it eat?
It dines on fungi which can be found scattered amongst the leaf litter of the rainforest floor. Unlike other snails, it appears to be disinterested in plants or other foliage.
How does it forage?
Slowly, at night time, following rainfall. Like other snails it is capable of climbing thanks to its sticky foot, but no record has ever shown it climbing higher than 50 centimetres. Either it tires easily or it suffers from vertigo.
How dangerous is it?
These snails pose no threat to humans and, like many other large snails, have become collector’s items in the pet trade.
How many are left?
Official figures remain unknown but this mollusc has not been added to the endangered species.
One of its rewards for being Australia’s largest snail is that it also produces the largest snail eggs in the country. These measure about 18 millimetres and can weigh 2 grams. That may not seem a lot, but it’s actually bigger than some species of snail.