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Achatinellidae is a family of tropical air-breathing land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Achatinelloidea.


This is the only family in the superfamily Achatinelloidea (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005).

The family Achatinellidae represents a diverse adaptive radiation. All species of tree-snail in Hawaii are believed to have come from a single ancestral snail. How that ancestral snail made the 3,800 kilometres (2,400 mi) trip across the ocean is unknown. A longstanding theory is that a bird carried a notably smaller ancestor across the ocean and dropped it on the islands, as bird mediated dispersal has been documented in other snail species. Alternative theories include that it floating across the ocean on a mat of debris, or that it island hopped across the Pacific in a combination of the theories.[2]

Subfamilies in the family Achatinellidae include:

  • Achatinellinae Gulick, 1873 - synonym: Helicterinae Pease, 1870 (inv.)
  • Auriculellinae Odhner, 1921
  • Elasmatininae Iredale, 1937 tribe Elasmatinini Iredale, 1937 - synonyms: Strobilidae Zilch, 1959 (n.a.); Pitysinae Cooke & Kondo, 1961 tribe Antonellini Cooke & Kondo, 1961 tribe Tubuaiini Cooke & Kondo, 1961
  • Pacificellinae Steenberg, 1925 tribe Pacificellini Steenberg, 1925 - synonym: Tornatellinoptini Cooke & Kondo, 1961 tribe Lamellideini Cooke & Kondo, 1961
  • Tekoulininae Solem, 1972
  • Tornatellidinae Cooke & Kondo, 1961 tribe Tornatellidini Cooke & Kondo, 1961 tribe Tornatellariini Cooke & Kondo, 1961
  • Tornatellininae Sykes, 1900 tribe Tornatellinini Sykes, 1900 tribe Elasmiatini Kuroda & Habe, 1949


In this family, the number of haploid chromosomes lies between 16 and 25 (according to the values in the table).[3]


This family of snails occurs widely in the Pacific islands. They are at their most diverse in the Hawaiian group.[4][5]


Genera in the family Achatinellidae include:



  • Auriculella Pfeiffer, 1854 - type genus of the subfamily Auriculellinae[6]


  • tribe Elasmatinini
  • tribe Antonellini
  • tribe Tubuaiini Tubuaia




  • tribe Tornatellidini Tornatellides Pilsbry, 1910 - type genus of the tribe Tornatellidini
  • tribe Tornatellariini Tornatellaria Pilsbry, 1910 - type genus of the tribe Tornatellariini


  • tribe Tornatellinini Tornatellina L. Pfeiffer, 1842 - type genus the tribe Tornatellinini
  • tribe Elasmiatini Elasmias Pilsbry, 1910 - type genus of the tribe Elasmiatini


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