There is still very little known of the distribution, biology and behaviours of argonauts. Through funding by the Hermon Slade Foundation and Australian Biological Resources Survey, Museum Victoria is undertaking a detailed survey of argonauts in Australian waters.
A live female argonaut (Argonauta nodosus) with shell-secreting webs covering the outside of the shell. Photo: © Rudie Kuiter
This survey is reviewing the species that occur in Australian waters, their distributions, their roles in oceanic food webs, data on strandings, and where possible, live animal observations.
At this stage, three species are confirmed from Australian waters:
Knobbed Argonaut (Argonauta nodosus)
Distribution: known from southern Australia - from New South Wales to Tasmania and South Australia
Greater Argonaut (Argonauta argo)
Distribution: known from southern Western Australia. Shells occasionally collected in South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland.
Lesser Argonaut (Argonauta hians)
Distribution: known from northern Australia - from the North West Shelf of Western Australia to Queensland . Shells occasionally collected in New South Wales.