A complete list of New Zealand Mollusca, after A W B Powell of the Auckland
Institute and Museum, and modified by others. The underlined species link
to detailed information on each. Use the Edit/Find option on your browser
to quickly find the creature or group of interest. The numbers in brackets
() behind each family indicate the number of species in that family. Land
and freshwater snails have been coloured green.
(Gk: cephale=head; pous/pod= foot) (Squid and octopus) bi-laterally
symmetrical molluscs with remnant internal shells or chambered outside
shells. A well developed head with parrot beak. Tentacles attached to head.
Foot developed into a funnel. Mantle covering the body cavity. Separate
sexes, large eggs with yolk and direct development without intermediate
larval stage. Exclusively marine, free swimming predators.
Subclass Tetrabranchia (two pairs of gills, most species extinct)
Nautilidae (2): inkfish with external shells, pinhole eye, no chromatophores,
no ink sac, many arms, ancient family from the Devonian epoch.
Nautilus pompilus (pearly nautilus): has a spiral shell divided
into successive hollow chambers. It has 40-50 arms without suckers. Lives
in tropical waters at depths of 200-500m, wide-spread.
Subclass Dibranchia (one pair of gills). This subclass is also named
Order Decapoda (ten arms of which 8 shorrt and 2 long) Usually elongate,
often with lateral fins. Suckers stalked, with a horny arm. Shell internal
and fairly developed. Heart inside the body cavity.
Spirula spirula (ramshorn shell): has an internal shell divided
in 25-37 walled chambers. It has a tough mantle into which it can withdraw.
It has two long catch arms. At the other end it has two small fins. The
ramshorn shell washes up on beaches.
Cirroteuthis muelleri, Cirrothauma sp. cf. C. magna
Incertae sedis: cirrate eggs
Vampyroteuthidae (1): 8 arms + 2 filaments, no inc sac, no chromatophores,
lives in deep water, large web, small arms.
Vampyroteuthis infernalis (infernal vampire squid): Neither squid
nor octopus with the consistency of a jellyfish, dark purple. Large eyes
and luminous organs resembling a hideous mask. Has existed for millions
of years, a "living fossil". Has ten arms. Lives in deep water, subtropical
Argonautidae (2): paper nautilus, eight arms with thin external
shells, flotation with swim bladder. External shell made by two specialised
shell-secreting arms, and serves as a brood pouch.
Argonauta nodosa (paper nautilus): pure white shell up to 23cm to
house the egg mass. The male is only 2.5cm and often attached to the female.
Octopodidae (11): common octopus, with 8 arms. Some pelagic, most
benthic. Compact bodies and arms longer than body. No shell. Suckers are
soft and attached to the base of the arm. Skin has no iridocytes. No float
bladder or shell.
Octopodinae: shallow water
Octopus oliveri, O. gibbsi (sand octopus), Pinnoctopus
cordiformis (reef octopus), Pinnoctopus kermadecensis, O.
huttoni (midget octopus), O. campbelli, O. mernoo, O.
Bathypolypodinae: deepwater octopus
Benthoctopus tegginmathae, B. tangaroa, B. clyderoperi
Graneledone challengeri, G. taniwha taniwha, G. kubodera,
zeiss, T. marshalli