Scutus antipodes

Elephant snail | Scutus breviculus
Scutus antipodes
Scutus antipodes, Photo: Graham Edgar


Temperate Australasia


Large black slug-like animal with a white trough-shaped shell located under folds of skin on its upper surface. Because of its distinctive appearance and the large numbers found under rocks near low-water mark, the elephant snail is one of the better-known gastropods. At night it moves out from under rocks to forage on drift algae.


Max Size: 10 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 10.5-23.1°C

Depth: 0-20m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Frequent (16.9% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (2 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney