DISTRIBUTION: The two species are separated by the Southern Alps - Kaikoura mountain ranges. The northern koura is common throughout the North Island and Marlborough, Nelson, and Westland. The southern koura is abundant on the eastern coastal lowlands of the South Island south of Canterbury, and on Stewart Island.
HABITAT: They inhabit lakes, rivers and swamps of all kinds. They can be found in the stream running through Willowbank.
BREEDING: Not well studied, although females lay between 20-170 eggs along with mucus from glands on her abdomen. The mucus is used to glue the eggs to her shell.
FOOD: Living or dead minute animals and plants.
GENERAL: Koura are bottom-dwellers with limbs well adapted for walking but not for swimming, although they can jet backwards by snapping their tail forwards. By day they hide in burrows or in crevices. At night they can be easily located in shallow water as their eyes shine golden-red in torch light.