Partula snail species
Partula tree snails and the Euglandina threat
Partula snails Partula conservation Euglandina

The genetic diversity of Partula snails

Research led by Diarmid O Foighil at the University of Michigan aims to clarify the genetic relationships of the different populations of partulids. This uses tissue smaples collected from the few remaining wild populations and material collected in the 1970s, much of it from species that are now extinct. The most recent study greatly extends the range of species in the phylogeny. The results of this work are informing the taxonomic study.

Currently around 100 species, subspecies and varieties of Partula have been described from the Society Islands. Many of these are invalid, but the situation remains very confused. The genetic studies have shown that some species are really complexes of inter-breeding populations. Exactly what a 'species' means in Partula remains unclear, over 100 years since Henry Crampton started investigating that very question on Tahiti. Crampton never finished his great work and his manuscripts and specimens have been in storage for the past 58 years. This work was revived for publication and complete in 2016.

Other research on Partula

  • Ecology
  • Status
  • Compiled by Justin Gerlach: contact


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