Vicious Snail Devours Worm

Powelliphanta augusta, previously known as Powelliphanta “Augustus” photographed in Happy Valley, New Zealand.
By Alan LieftingOwn work, Public Domain
When you think about vicious predators, snails are probably very low on your list. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even include them on your list of vicious predators. Snails are just cute little mollusks with a knack for plant matter and fungi, right? Wrong.

Carnivorous, predatory snails exist, and they are just as scary as you can imagine. In the ocean, carnivorous conchs reign terror on other smaller snails, and on land, carnivorous land snails are just as horrifying. In New Zealand, one species of snail known as Powelliphanta augusta is particularly ravenous.

Snail vs Worm 3

With cravings for flesh, this snail does not play around. Like werewolves and vampires, it hunts at night, and its main victims are earthworms and slugs. While it may not be a fast predator, it has an incredibly fast mouth. In an instant, it can slurp a whole earthworm down like spaghetti.


Yet, as weird and frightening as Powelliphanta augusta might seem, they are not very numerous. Initially, the New Zealand Department of Conservation estimated that there were less than 1000 of these snails in the wild. And, even though they were discovered 1996, the Department of Conservation didn’t even know they existed until 2004. Today, they are under threat from coal mining in their native habitat, and their already small numbers are dwindling.

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