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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Partula Snail: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Read the following Partula snail facts.

During the first trip of the Endeavour, Joseph Banks and colleagues found the first Partula in 1769. Partula snails, sometimes known as Polynesian tree snails, are small spiral-shelled land snails that can retract their bodies inside their shells like other snails. They travel about the trees and vegetation by utilizing muscle activity in a single foot in waves. The foot glides across the surface of the leaves on a coating of slime generated by a gland at the front of the foot. The Partula snail (Partula nodosa), also known as the Polynesian tree snail or niho tree snail, is one of many snail species in the genus, all of which are threatened with extinction. This species was previously widespread in the South Pacific island of Tahiti, but the International Union for Conservation of Nature currently believes it to be extinct in the wild since the snail is mostly found in captivity. However, a few have been returned into the wild and attempts to reintroduce the snail to its natural range are ongoing. In an unsuccessful attempt at biological control, most species of Partula tree snails from French Polynesia became extinct due to predation by the imported carnivorous pink wolf snail. Some of those species were rescued before they became extinct by the international zoo community and are now housed in 15 American and European zoos, including the London and Whipsnade Zoos. The goal is to reintroduce those species that have gone extinct in the wild into their native habitat.

Keep reading to find out more. You might also want to read our apple snail and snail kite facts.

Partula Snail Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Partula snail?

The Partula nodosa is a type of snail.

What class of animal does a Partula snail belong to?

The Partula nodosa belongs to the gastropod class just like decollate snails.

How many Partula snails are there in the world?

Approximately 51 of the 77  species of Partula have become extinct, while 11 species of Partula are only found in captivity. In 1986, an international conservation campaign was formed. As a result of this, 25 species of Partula snails have been included in breeding programs in Europe and North America. Furthermore, programs have been developed to monitor the status of remaining wild populations and to work on the reintroduction of extinct species. Many of the surviving species of Partula (from Tahiti) were put into captivity so that captive breeding programs could be established. The goal of these breeding programs is to restore population numbers.

Where does a Partula snail live?

The Partula snail's habitat is in the valleys and wet woods across the range of Tahiti island in the South Pacific. They frequently burrow under the stems and undersides of leaves. Many of the South Pacific's volcanic islands are home to Partula snails. These species cover a vast geographical area, stretching from Belau, east of the Philippines, to the Marquesas Islands. Hundreds of distinct species of tree snail used to coexist on the islands of French Polynesia. Some Partula species lived exclusively in single valleys, while others lived in many valleys on a single island.

What is a Partula snail's habitat?

The Partula nodosa is mostly found in moist forests. Although, these species are believed to be extinct in the wild. They were once common on the South Pacific island of Tahiti.

Who do Partula snails live with?

Snails may live peacefully alone or in small groups, and they are not territorial of either space or food.

How long does a Partula snail live?

Most land snail species are annuals, meaning they live for a year. Some species have been reported to survive for two to three years, while some of the bigger species may live for up to 10 years in the wild. Pet snails are tough tiny critters that may survive for 10-15 years if properly cared for. You can count growth rings on the edge of their shell as they age.

How do they reproduce?

The females build nests but do not protect them. Nests may hold up to a hundred eggs, although the average nest has 50 eggs. It might take up to 10 weeks for eggs to hatch. The Partula snails emerge at night to feed and breed when it rains. Partula snails are hermaphrodites, meaning they possess both female and male sexual organs. If it is unable to locate a spouse, they can reproduce via self-fertilization. This species gives birth to live young, which are roughly the size of a ballpoint pen tip when they are born. The Partula nodosa gives birth to a single child every month to six weeks, and they achieve sexual maturity in three to six months.

What is their conservation status?

The Partula snails were previously widespread in Tahiti, but the International Union for Conservation of Nature currently believes them to be Extinct in the Wild since the Partula species is mostly found in captivity. However, a few have been returned into the wild, and attempts to reintroduce it to its natural range are ongoing. They've been preyed upon by the rosy wolf snail. The status of wild populations is being monitored for conservation.

Partula Snail Fun Facts

What do Partula snails look like?

Its body, which is mostly made up of a muscular foot, is rough and brown, and its antenna-like eyes are nearly transparent. The animal's spiraling shell is covered with beige and cream-colored stripes, which defends it from predators and keeps it from drying up. It has four toes on each of its front legs and four or five toes on each of its back legs.

Partula snails have antenna-like eyes.

How cute are they?

They are, indeed, adorable! Despite their slimy appearance, these creatures are adorable since they are tiny and gentle just like glass snails.

How do they communicate?

Snails have two tentacles on their heads that they use to communicate with others by touching them. Snails and slugs both leave a trail of mucus that may be read by other creatures. Aside from that, they communicate by chemical residue. Snails have eyes to perceive their environment and behave accordingly because they cannot hear.

How big is a Partula snail?

Their height ranges in 0.5-0.75 in (1.27-1.90 cm) much larger than the dot snail.

How fast can a Partula snail move?

Snails move slowly because they employ muscular pedal waves to move, and they leave a foul-smelling trail of mucus behind them. Their sluggish mobility is also owing to the fact that they are protected by hefty shells. Snails travel at a speed of around 1 mph (1.6 kph).

How much does a Partula snail weigh?

Their exact weight is not known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Neither sexes of snails have been given a name.

What would you call a baby Partula snail?

Baby snails are the most common name for young snails.

What do they eat?

As a detritivore, this species obtains most of its nutrition from rotting plants. It spends most of its time feeding on decaying plants and tiny plants found on bigger flora. This snail was a great benefit to its environment before it became extinct in the wild because of its capacity to recycle nutrients from plant detritus and assist plant respiration. Its known predator is the rosy wolf snail.

Are they poisonous?

Garden snails aren't intrinsically toxic, so they're typically safe to handle and eventually eat if you're a fan of escargot. The marine cone snail, on the other hand, possesses one of nature's most potent toxins.

Would they make a good pet?

Snails are wonderful pets! They make excellent pets despite their inability to sense emotions such as love. They are silent and take up little room, with a simple, low-cost arrangement being plenty for them to live in! This particular tree snail species is under conservation so it would not be a good idea to keep it as a pet.

Did you know...

These striped snails were utilized in indigenous islanders' ceremonial jewelry and decorations, and the snails also served as a study group for scientists to learn more about the development of variety.

Why is the Partula snail endangered?

When the French Polynesian administration permitted the introduction of giant African land snails as a food supply, it signaled the end of several Partula species. When African land snails began eating the island's crops, another predatory snail was imported to control them. However, the predator snails ate the Partula snails rather than the African snail.

Are Partula snails extinct?

Partula snails became extinct in the wild due to the extinction of another snail species—or two. The French Polynesian administration permitted the giant African land snails to be imported and utilized as a human food source on South Pacific islands, including Tahiti, in 1967. However, some of the snails escaped, reproduced quickly, and began devouring crops on local fields. A decade later, in an effort to curb the invasive snail's expanding population, another species, the pink wolf snail (scientific name: Euglandina rosea) was introduced to the island. This carnivorous snail lived true to its name by preying heavily on the Partula snail, which was smaller and slower than the giant African land snail and so an easier meal to capture, nearly driving it to extinction. Researchers were unable to discover any living Partula snails in their natural valley environments by the 1980s. There are many conservation programs running for them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other gastropods from our sea slug facts and nudibranch facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Partula snails coloring pages.

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