Nov 25
Trumpet-mouthed hunter snail image

Trumpet-mouthed hunter snail (Gulella salpinx)

Species: Trumpet-mouthed hunter snail (Gulella salpinx)

Status: Critically Endangered (CR)

Interesting Fact: The trumpet-mouthed hunter snail does not lay eggs but ‘gives birth’ to miniature juvenile snails!

The rather flamboyant common name of the species refers to the flaring, trumpet-like opening of its distinctive shell. As a recently discovered species, relatively little is known about the trumpet-mouthed hunter snail’s biology. It is endemic to a single limestone outcrop of the Marble Delta in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The ‘hunter’ part of this species’ common name refers to its carnivorous habits, a behaviour that is common to the whole Streptaxidae family, which primarily feed upon soft-bodied invertebrates such as other snails and worms. Unusually for a snail, this species is known to be ovoviviparous, with developing eggs brooded internally before being ‘given birth’ to as minature snails.

The marble deposit, to which the species is endemic, is extensively mined by two companies and the area is also heavily invaded by non-native plants. Fortunately, the two mining companies operating in the area have expressed their willingness to cooperate in the conservation of this intriguing species of snail.

View images of the trumpet-mouthed hunter snail on ARKive.

Becky Moran, ARKive Species Text Author

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