Amphibola crenata (titiko in the Māori language or mud-flat snail in English) is a species of air breathing snail with an operculum, a pulmonate gastropod mollusc which lives in a habitat that is intermediate between the land and the sea, not entirely terrestrial and not entirely marine. It is the only member of its genus, Amphibola. [2]

This is not a true land snail, but it is also not a true sea snail. Unlike almost all other snails that have opercula, this species breathes air. It is common in New Zealand.[3]


[hide] *1 Description

[edit] DescriptionEdit

The thick shell of this species is about 20 mm in size.

  • [1]A shell of Amphibola crenata
  • [2]A shell of Amphibola crenata, underside view

[3][4]Amphibola crenata on mud near mangroves, New Zealand, with incoming tide==[edit] Ecology== Amphibola crenata is a curiosity, as it seems to represent a transitional state between marine and terrestrial gastropods. The mantle is employed as a lung, and therefore immersion of the animal in sea water is of secondary importance, and occurs for not more than an hour at each high tide.

This is one of very few air-breathing marine snails with an operculum and a veliger larva.

[edit] Feeding habitsEdit

This snail is a detritus or deposit feeder. It extracts bacteria, diatoms and decomposing matter from the surface sand. It egests the sand and a slimy secretion that is a rich source of food for bacteria.

[edit] Human useEdit

In the past this species was an important food for the Māori.