Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Snail ( Lymnaeidae : Austropeplea )

Diagnostic features

Austropeplea is a genus of native lymnaeid snails. The lymnaeids lack an operculum (protective shield) that covers the aperture (shell opening) when the animal withdraws. The aperture is on the right when facing toward you and when the spire points upwards (see upper photo). Austropeplea are relatively small, with rounded shells and a short spire compared with most of the introduced lymnaeid snails.

Typical habitats

Austropeplea have a patchy distribution but they are locally common in some gravelly streams and rivers in farmed catchments.


Like most snails they are grazers, scraping biofilms from submerged surfaces.

Indicator value

Records of Austropeplea are probably of more conservation interest than water quality interest. This genus has not been assigned tolerance values but the Lymnaeidae have low tolerance values of 3 (hard bottom sites) and 1.2 (soft bottom sites).