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Giant Panda Snail (remnant shell)

Hedleyella falconeri

Description:

The Giant Panda Snail (aka Giant Rainforest Snail) is a species of air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the family Caryodidae. It is the largest species of land snail to be found in Australia. Adult shell size is 90 to 100mm long, although this remnant shell was slightly smaller than that, suggesting that it was probably taken by a Noisy Pitta before reaching maturity (see notes). The reference links provide plenty of information on this species.

Habitat:

Found in sub-tropical rainforest on the Pitta Circuit in D'Aguilar National Park. This shell was found in moist leaf litter on the forest floor, but there were lots of tree roots and logs in the area as well, so they probably shelter there too.

Notes:

These large land snails are favourites of the native Noisy Pitta bird (Pitta versicolor), which smash the shells against rocks to feed on the flesh, and I think that's what happened to this snail. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noisy_pitta... The name of the track suggests there are Pittas in the area, and where you have the birds, you're likely to find some snails as well. Next time I hope to find a shell with someone at home. I couldn't help but think that, from what was left of this shell, it looked like a common garden snail, only massive by comparison. Snails on steroids perhaps?

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Queensland, Australia

Lat: -27.40, Long: 152.79

Spotted on May 10, 2015
Submitted on May 10, 2015

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