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Snail (Leptopyrgus)

Taxonomic group

Tateidae: Leptopyrgus

Diagnostic features

Leptopyrgus is a tiny snail, only about 2mm long. The shell shape is similar to the related Potamopyrgus, and there is an operculum (protective shield) covering the aperture (shell opening) when the animal withdraws. The aperture is on the right when facing toward you and when the spire points upwards.

Typical habitats

The species pictured (Leptopyrgus tainui) is found in seepage habitats and streams around Mt Pirongia in the North Island.


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

Indicator value

There are few location records for Leptopyrgus and we know little about the water quality requirements of this genus. No tolerance values have been assigned.