Achatinella apexfulva   (Dixon)


 
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Dusky-Apex Oahu Tree-Snail
(Achatinella apexfulva)

 
syn. -

 
distribution:

Hawai'i Islands: O'ahu

 
local name:

Kahuli (Hawaiian)
Pupu kani oe (Hawaiian)
Pupu kuahiwi (Hawaiian)

 
size: ca. 2 cm (shell height)

extinction date: (?)

 
The Dusky-Apex Oahu Tree-Snail was once distributed in the rainforests of the leeward mountain slopes of the Ko'olau Mountains in the east of the island of O'ahu.

Some authors have assigned more than seventy subspecies to this immensely variable coloured species, some of which represent indeed distinct species, while most of the others are just colour morphs.

The Dusky-Apex Oahu Tree-Snail is one of the ten species that survived the snail mass extinction on the Hawaiian Islands, at least for the moment. It was brought, together with other species, into a laboratory at the University of Hawai'i, to bred the animals under articicial conditions, and to increase the populations living in the wild.

In most cases, after initial problems and setbacks, these efforts were successful in the end - but not in the case of the Dusky-Apex Oahu Tree-Snail.

In the year 2008 only two individuals of this species survived (at this time, the species had vanished completely from the wild), and finally, in the year 2012 only a single one was alive - the last of its species.

 
left:

Dusky-Apex Oahu Tree-Snail (Achatinella apexfulva)


Photo from: 'G. W. Tryon; H. A. Pilsbry: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata, Vol. 22, 1912-1914'

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

 
References:

- Janice Crowl: Kahuli Homecoming. In: Hana Hou! The Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines 14(6). 2011/12