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Snails of the world:Hawaii
Achatinella species Plate from Addison Gulick's book "John Thomas Gulick - Evolutionist and Missionary".

In this region two notable families of snails can be found:the Achatinellidae and the Amastridae. The subfamily Achatinellinae is endemic to the Hawaiian islands. The family Amastridae is totally endemic. Of the genus Achatinella about 200 species and almost 1000 varieties were named at the end of 19th century. But around the 1940's the number of species was brought down to 43,and later even reduced to about 24. They live on native trees and shrubs where they feed on fungus. Both sinistral and dextral forms are present,the shells are elongated conical shaped. As with many other snailspecies this one too is threatened by collecting,loss of forests and introduced carnivorous snails. The genus Achatinella,with 41 species,was the first animal genus to have all its species listed as endangered under the US endangered species act,in 1981. Achatinella mustelina(Photo:Dr.Brenden Holland)-Amastra micans(Photo:b-cabinet)-Carelia cochlea(extinct?)(Photo:Femorale)

The family Amastridae has 11 genera,with a lot of variety in shell size(5-70 mm)and appearance.

There are 41 endemic species of the family Succineidae here,they have thin shells with just 1.5 or 2 whorls.Their habitats are divers from high forests in the mountains to dry shrubland.

Succinea caduca Succinea cepulla Succinea thaanumi Photo's:(c)Dr.Brenden Holland

Hawaii,being so isolated,has a big number of endemic snailgenera.For example:Pupoidopsis(Pupillidae), Cookeconcha(Endodontidae),Godwinia(Zonitidae)and Philonesia,Hiona,Kaala(Euconulidae).

Thanks to Dr. Brenden Holland of the University of Hawaii for reviewing the text and information presented on this website.

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