Essington Snail

Notopala essingtonensis

General information : A Mollusc in the family Viviparidae similar in shape to the Waterhouse snail but only half the size. It is also different in that it has a very hard shell. Size grows to approximately 25 mm but usually about 15mm in size, the colour varies throughout its range, from pale tan to black, the specimens in the Carson River and Keep River are pale tan with dark stripes.

Cultivation notes : The water quality for these snails needs to be hard and alkaline, suggest pH of 7.5 to 8.0, and hardness about 200 ppm . They eat Periphyton that is the complex matrix of algae, cyanobacteria, heterotrophic microbes, and detritus that is attached to submerged substrata in almost all aquatic ecosystems." Bacteria slime and algae grow in my aquariums and the snails do very well in an aquarium with plenty of detritus as long as the water is hard. If the water is soft or acidic the shells erode. Like it larger relative its diet does not include living plants. It likes to hide under logs and rocks in the daylight then ventures out at night to feed.

Distribution : Found in coastal floodplains of the NT and WA, recorded from Adelaide River, Daly River, Victoria River, Roper River, Coburg Penninsular, Keep River, Carson River and King Edward River. It is found in both still and flowing freshwaters.

Selling details : Sold as individuals at 10 mm or larger.

Reference: Williams W.D., (1980) "Australian Freshwater Life"