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Albinaria latelamellaris shell.jpg
Apertural view of a shell of Albinaria latelamellaris
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia
clade Euthyneura
clade Panpulmonata
clade Eupulmonata
clade Stylommatophora
informal group Sigmurethra
Superfamily: Clausilioidea
Family: Clausiliidae
Subfamily: Alopiinae
Tribe: Medorini
Genus: Albinaria
Vest, 1867[1]
116 species

Albinaria is a genus of air-breathing land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the family Clausiliidae, the door snails.

Ecology and Life Cycle[3][edit]

The snails live on limestone rocks, where they feed on algae and lichen. They are active only during the wet season, that is, in Mediterranean lowlands, from November through April. Eggs are laid shortly after the beginning of the wet season. The development from a juvenile to a fully grown shell takes two to three wet seasons. During the intermittent dry seasons, the snails, young and adults alike, aestivate ("the warm weather equivalent of hibernation"[4]) on the rocks or in crevices inside the rocks. For aestivation, aggregates are often formed, sometimes reaching sizes of many hundreds of individuals. During the last dry season prior to sexual maturation, the subadult snail (the shell of which is already fully developed, albeit thinner than that of an adult) increases the size of its genital organs. Copulation then takes place during the first weeks of autumn rains. Population densities can sometimes be very high, in spite of heavy predation by beetle larvae of the genus Drilus. These insects attack the snails during their aestivation, by perforating the shell and eating the snail inside.[5]


Distribution of the genus Albinaria includes:

  • southern Albania
  • Greece
  • Cyprus
  • western and southern Turkey
  • Lebanon


Species in this genus include 111 species:[6]


  1. ^ (in German) Vest, W. von 1867. Ueber den Schliessapparat der Clausilien. Verhandlungen und Mittheilungen des Siebenbürgischen Vereins für Naturwissenschaften in Hermannstadt 18 (1, 7, 8): 5-18, 161-174, 188-196.
  2. ^ "Species in genus Albinaria n=116". AnimalBase, accessed 10 March 2011.
  3. ^ Schilthuizen, M., 1994. Differentiation and Hybridisation in a Polytypic Snail. PhD Thesis, Leiden University.
  4. ^ Gould, S.J., 1985. The Flamingo's Smile; Reflections in Natural History. Norton, New York
  5. ^ Baalbergen, E., R. Helwerda, R. Schelfhorst, R.F.Castillo Cajas, C.H.M. van Moorsel, R. Kundrata, F.W. Welter-Schultes, S. Giokas & M. Schilthuizen, 2014. Predator-prey interactions between shell-boring beetle larvae and rock-dwelling land snails. PLoS ONE, 9(6): e100366
  6. ^ Species in genus Albinaria . AnimalBase, accessed 21 September 2009.

Further reading[edit]

  • De Weerd, D. R. U. T.; Gittenberger, E. (2005). "Towards a monophyletic genus Albinaria (Gastropoda, Pulmonata): The first molecular study into the phylogenetic position of eastern Albinaria species". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 143 (4): 531. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2005.00154.x. .
  • Kemperman Th. C. M. (1992). "Genitalia of Albinaria of the Ionian islands Kephallinia and Ithaka". In: Kemperman Th. C. M. Systematics and evolutionary history of the Albinaria species from the Ionian islands of Kephallinia and Ithaka (Gastropoda Pulmonata: Clausiliidae): 41-80. Leiden, thesis Leiden University.
  • Schilthuizen M. & Gittenberger E. (1996). "Allozyme variation in some Cretan Albinaria (Gastropoda): paraphyletic species as natural phenomena". In: Taylor J. D. (ed.) Origin and evolutionary radiation of the Mollusca: 301-311. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Yamazaki, N.; Ueshima, R.; Terrett, J. A.; Yokobori, S.; Kaifu, M.; Segawa, R.; Kobayashi, T.; Numachi, K.; Ueda, T.; Nishikawa, K.; Watanabe, K.; Thomas, R. H. (1997). "Evolution of pulmonate gastropod mitochondrial genomes: Comparisons of gene organizations of Euhadra, Cepaea and Albinaria and implications of unusual tRNA secondary structures". Genetics. 145 (3): 749–758. PMC 1207859Freely accessible. PMID 9055084. 
  • Welter-Schultes, F. W. (2001). "Spatial variations inAlbinaria terebraland snail morphology in Crete (Pulmonata: Clausiliidae): Constraints for older and younger colonizations?". Paleobiology. 27 (2): 348. doi:10.1666/0094-8373(2001)027<0348:SVIATL>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0094-8373. .

External links[edit]