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Boggomoss snail

Common name: boggomoss snail

Scientific name: Adclarkia dawsonensis 

Family: Camaenidae (camaenid land snails)

Conservation status: This species is listed as Endangered in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992) and Critically Endangered nationally (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999). It is ranked as a critical priority for conservation under the department's Back on Track species prioritisation framework


The boggomoss snail is a medium sized snail with a relatively thin semi-translucent shell. There is a slightly elevated spire on the almost flat shell with a small central depression. The shell measures 21-26mm in diameter and 14-16mm in height. Although the shell appears smooth it has microscopic ridges. The colouration of the shell is light-brown with a subtle yellow-green tinge. The animal is grey with an orange coloured mantle (a thin layer of tissue that envelops the soft parts of the body). The snail's mantle produces a shell.

Habitat and distribution

This species is endemic to the Brigalow Belt South bioregion and occurs along a 90km section of the Dawson River between Mt Rose, near Taroom and south of Theodor. Recent surveys have extended the known distribution of the boggomoss snail from two previously known locations to six locations.

It is found in leaf litter and under vegetation amongst soil in riparian habitats and at one location on boggomosses (small elevated peat bog). These areas have ground cover consisting of sedges, ferns and tree debris with dry rainforest/vine-thicket elements. A primary habitat requirement of the snail is a moist microhabitat in which to carry out its life cycle.

Life history and behaviour

Currently very little is known of the biology, growth rate or population dynamics of the species. An individual animal is estimated to have a life span of 10-20 years and the species is known to be nocturnal. It is thought to feed on fungi and other biofilm growing amongst decomposing leaf litter. During dry periods the snail hibernates, lying free in leaf litter and under logs with the opening of its shell covered with a calcified mucous covering (epiphragm). When favourable conditions reoccur, the snail discards the mucous covering and re-emerges.

Threatening processes

The threats to the boggomoss snail include:

  • flooding
  • inappropriate fire regimes
  • clearing of vegetation
  • inappropriate grazing regimes
  • weeds
  • feral animals (pigs, mice, cane toads)
  • changes to hydrology
  • firewood collection
  • climate change.

Recovery actions

The revised recovery plan for the boggomoss snail Adclarkia dawsonensis identifies the following recovery objectives for the conservation of this species.

  • Secure habitat critical to the survival of the boggomoss snail and enhance suitability of sites for the snail within and surrounding this habitat
  • Implement threat abatement in areas where the boggomoss snail exists
  • Increase population through captive breeding and translocation to at least two sites
  • Improve understanding of key aspects of the biology and ecology of the species
  • Consolidate support for the recovery efforts with academic institutions, NGOs, NRM groups, and others.

Related information

AMEC 2014. Nathan Dam and Pipelines—targeted surveys for the boggomoss snail (Adclarkia dawsonensis), report prepared for SKM, Brisbane, viewed 8 May 2017.

Department of the Environment and Energy. 2017 Adclarkia dawsonensis Boggomoss Snail, Dawson Valley Snail: Species Profile and Threats Database. Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra.

Greenslade P. 2000 Nomination for listing on the National Estate Register: Dawson River Snail Site at Isla/Delusion Crossing. Report to the Australian Heritage Commission by Queensland Museum: Brisbane.

Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. 2017. Recovery plan for the boggomoss snail Adclarkia dawsonensis. Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Brisbane.

Smith BJ. 1992 Non-Marine Mollusca. In: Zoological Catalogue of Australia Vol 8. (Ed. Houston, W.W.K.), pp. 1-405. Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra.

Stanisic J. 1996 New land snails from boggomoss environments in the Dawson Valley, south-eastern Queensland (Eupulmonata: Charopidae and Camaenidae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 39, pp. 343-354.

Stanisic J. 2000 Biodiversity conservation, vine thickets and the whole dam thing. Wildlife Australia 37(1), pp. 40-43.

Last updated
29 August 2018