Austrocochlea porcata Click to enlarge image
Zebra Snail, Austrocochlea porcata, showing variations in pattern Image: Dr Isobel Bennett
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    porcata
    Genus
    Austrocochlea
    Order
    Archaeogastropoda
    Phylum
    Mollusca
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    2.5 cm
  • Feeding Habits
    herbivore

The Zebra Snail, so named because of the black-and-white striped pattern often seen in this species, is extremely common and no two individuals are identical.

Identification

The Zebra Snail has a black-and-white striped pattern on the shell. Environmental conditions as well as diet affect the width and colouring of the stripes.

Habitat

Zebra Snails live on intertidal rocky shores.

Distribution

The Zebra snail is found in south-eastern Australia from Townsville in Queensland to Geraldton in Western Australia.

Feeding and diet

The Zebra Snail is a herbivore, scraping algae off rocks with its raspy tongue or radula. At certain times of the year the algae contain a substance that the Zebra Snail excretes into its shell to form a darkened band.