Mollusc identification 

Some references you may want to try

Living New Zealand Mollusca (general)

New Zealand seashells visual guide. Raven, J. and S. Bracegirdle. 2010. Creatus, Wellington.

A photographic guide to seashells of New Zealand. Morley, M. and I. Anderson. 2004. New Holland, Auckland.

New Zealand Mollusca. Marine, land and freshwater shells. Powell, A.W.B. 1979. Collins, Auckland.

The New Zealand Sea Shore. Morton, J. E. and M. Miller. 1968 Collins, Auckland.

Phylum Mollusca: chitons, clams, tusk shells, squids and kin. Spencer, H.G., Marshall, B.A., Maxwell, P.A., Grant-Mackie, J.A., Stilwell, J.D., Willan, R.C., Campbell, H.J., Crampton, J.S., Henderson, R.A., Bradshaw, M.A., Waterhouse, J.B. & Pojeta, J. Jr. 2009. In Gordon, D.P. (ed.), New Zealand inventory of biodiversity. 1. Kingdom Animalia: Radiata, Lophotrochozoa, Deuterostomia. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch. 161-254. [list of all living and fossil species known from New Zealand region]

Recent Mollusca. Spencer, H.G., Marshall, B.A., Willan, R.C. 2009. In Gordon, D.P. (ed.), New Zealand inventory of biodiversity. 1. Kingdom Animalia: Radiata, Lophotrochozoa, Deuterostomia. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch. 196-219. [list of all living species known from New Zealand region (named and un-named) up to 31 December 2000]

Checklist of the Recent Mollusca described from the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone. Spencer, H.G., R.C. Willan, B.A. Marshall, and T.J. Murray

Squids and octopuses

The marine fauna of New Zealand: Cephalopoda: Oegopsida: Architeuthidae (giant squid). Forch, E.C. 1998. [New Zealand] National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Biodiverity Memoir 110.

The marine fauna of New Zealand: Octopoda (Mollusca: Cephalopoda). O’Shea, S. 1999. [New Zealand] National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Biodiverity Memoir 112. [octopuses]

A guide to squid, cuttlefish and octopuses of Australasia. Norman, M.D. and A. Reid. 2000. CSIRO and Gould League of Victoria, Melbourne. [general]

Cephalopods: a World Guide. Norman, M.D. 2000. IKAN, Frankfurt. [general]

New Zealand fossil Mollusca

Cenozoic Mollusca of New Zealand. Beu, A.G. and P.A. Maxwell. 1990 New Zealand Geological Survey Paleontological Bulletin 58.

Marwick’s illustrations of New Zealand shells, with a checklist of New Zealand Cenozoic Mollusca. Fleming, C.A. 1966. New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research bulletin 173.

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Ask us for an identification

You can send us for identification either:

  • clean dry shells
  • preserved specimens

Please always contact us before sending anything.

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Tip to preserve a mollusc

If you have live specimens for identification, including slugs and other soft-bodied species, the quickest method to kill and temporarily preserve them is by freezing them in a plastic bag with some water.

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How to send your specimens

Pack them well to prevent breakage.

Larger specimens

Pack larger specimens in cartons, cushioned all around with packing material, ideally polystyrene foam chips or similar.

Smaller specimens

Send smaller dry specimens in containers that will not break or crush in the post, such as plastic or metal - not glass bottles unless they are well  wrapped in packing material.

Address

Mollusc Team
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
169 Tory Street / PO Box 467
Wellington 6140

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