Sunday, 21 September 2008

Black beauty

Weeaproinah, one of the wettest places in Victoria, and home of the Otway Fly. No, not a fly, a Fly - a treetop walk over a rainforest gully in the beautiful Otway Ranges.

It is also the home of the Otway Snail. We found the snail today while we were surveying a property next to the Fly, listing the plants, insects, birds and mammals. The Black Otway Snail Victaphanta compacta is carnivorous (it eats other snails, worms and insect larvae apparently). It's also rare and endangered. If they're rare it's possibly not because of logging, farming or plantations, but from natural causes, because we found dozens of snail shells on the forest floor. Some creature gathers them into one place and breaks open the shell to eat them. What could it be? A bird sitting on a branch above? A bush rat? A bandicoot? We had no idea.

5 comments:

Snail said...

I suspect they aren't so much rare as restricted in range.

Could the predator might be a Bassian thrush? (Just thinking out loud here.)

Boobook said...

Hi snail
Yes, the thrush was on the top of our list of suspects.

Mosura said...

Nice looking snail.

I was thinking Song Thrush but doubt you get them there. Bassian thrush is a much nicer thought.

Denis Wilson said...

I was going to suggest the same bird - assuming that Blackbirds and Song Thrushes are not found in the forests.
Cheers
Denis

Gouldiae said...

G'day Boobook,
Nice to see a pic of Weeaproinah after all the mentions of the place on the ABC weather reports!
Great snail. Hope you solve the mystery.
Gouldiae

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