Emerald green snail

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Emerald green snail
Apertural view of a shell of Papustyla pulcherrima
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia

clade Euthyneura
clade Panpulmonata
clade Eupulmonata
clade Stylommatophora
informal group Sigmurethra

Superfamily: Helicoidea
Family: Camaenidae
Genus: Papustyla
Species: P. pulcherrima
Binomial name
Papustyla pulcherrima
Rensch, 1931

Papuina pulcherrima

The emerald green snail, green tree snail, or Manus green tree snail, scientific name Papustyla pulcherrima, sometimes listed as Papuina pulcherrima, is a species of large, air-breathing tree snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Camaenidae.

The shells of this species were in demand for making jewelry, and were popular with shell collectors and partly as a result of this, the species is now endangered.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species is endemic to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. This snail lives in trees, and inhabits rain forest areas up to 112 meters above sea level.


The shell of this species is a vivid green color, which is unusual in snails. The green color is however not within the solid, calcium carbonate part of the shell but instead it is a very thin protein layer known as the periostracum. Under the periostracum the shell is yellow.


Overharvesting of the species for commercial purposes led to a decline in the population of this snail. Logging of the rain forest where this species lives is also a serious threat to its survival.[1]

The snail and its shell are protected under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)[2] and the species is listed in the IUCN Red List as near threatened as of 2015.[1]

Papustyla pulcherrima is the only foreign gastropod species that is listed as Federally Endangered in the United States since 2 June 1970.[3]


  1. ^ a b Mollusc Specialist Group 1996. Papustyla pulcherrima. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 July 2013.
  2. ^ CITES species database. Accessed 20 July 2013
  3. ^ U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Last updated 5 January 2010). Species Profile for Manus Island Tree snail (Papustyla pulcherrima)." U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website. Accessed 6 January 2010.