New Zealand Shells: Marine, Land, and Freshwater



This site showcases my collection of New Zealand marine land and freshwater shells.
These are mainly Mollusc shells, but Brachiopods, Barnacles, Urchins, and Tubeworms are also represented.
Basic information for each species is provided, and I endeavour to keep the species names up to date with the latest taxonomic developments.

Images.jpg The Image Pages contain thumbnails of all the species and forms that I have photographed so far (over 1100). Click on a thumbnail to see the specimen image, which includes the locality data for that specimen as well as its size. Some basic metrics such as geographical range, habitat, and maximum size are included with each species thumbnail.

The Species Page gives access to all the images via a text list. This is more bandwidth friendly than thumbnails.

On all pages, the search facility (Ctrl-F) can be used to locate a family, genus, or species by name.

Click here to see images of living specimens, searchable by common or taxonomic name (iNaturalistNZ).

About New Zealand Mollusca
Poirieria.jpg Because of its long isolation from other land masses, New Zealand hosts a large number of endemic species. At last count we had 3193 Recent species and subspecies, of which about 75% are endemic to New Zealand territory. Currently about 2000 species are awaiting formal description, and it is estimated that hundreds more have yet to be discovered.

The numbers of described Recent NZ Mollusc species per Class are: 2503 x Gastropoda (single piece shells), 486 x Bivalvia (two piece shells), 125 x Cephalopoda (EG. squid & octopus), 58 x Polyplacophora (shell of 8 plates), 12 x Scaphopoda (long tapering shell), 6 x Monoplacophora and 3 x Aplacophora (small deep water shells).

Click here for an up-to-date checklist and more information on New Zealands Recent Mollusca.
Click here for information and images of New Zealands Cenozoic (fossil) Mollusca.

About Me
Shell collecting has been my hobby since I was a child.
I collect only New Zealand shells, and am an active member of the Auckland Shell Club.

Photos of any New Zealand shells that you would like to have identified are welcome.
I would appreciate being notified of any identification errors or website faults, and would like to hear from anyone who can provide better specimens, or NZ species that I do not already have.

Peter Poortman
Auckland, New Zealand
petermwp@gmail.com