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Lanistes ovum shell.png
Drawing of an apertural view of the shell of Lanistes ovum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda

informal group Architaenioglossa

Superfamily: Ampullarioidea
Family: Ampullariidae
Subfamily: Ampullariinae
Tribe: Ampullariini
Genus: Lanistes
Montfort, 1810[1]
Type species
Lanistes carinatus (Olivier, 1804).
21 extant species

and at least 10 fossil species

  • Ampullaria (Lanistes)
  • Lanistes (Meladomus) Swainson, 1840
  • Lanistes (Plesiolanistes) Berthold, 1991
  • Lanistes (Prolanistes) Schütt in Schütt & Besenecker, 1973 · accepted, alternate representation
  • Leroya Grandidier, 1887[5]
  • Meladomus Swainson, 1840[6]
  • Meladomus (Bolteniana) Bourguignat, 1889
  • Meladomus (Lanistes)
  • Meladomus (Libyciana) Bourguignat, 1889
  • Meladomus (Meladomus) Swainson, 1840 (formerly used as subgenus of Lanistes)
  • Meladomus (Nyassana) Bourguignat, 1889
  • Meladomus (Olivaceana) Bourguignat, 1889
  • Meladomus (Purpuriana) Bourguignat, 1889

Lanistes is a genus of freshwater snails which have a gill and an operculum, aquatic gastropod mollusks in the family Ampullariidae, the apple snails. [7]


The distribution of the genus Lanistes includes Africa and Madagascar.[3]


Lanistes has a unique anatomy among the Ampullariidae: it has a "hyperstrophic" sinistral shell.[8] This means that the body of the snail is dextral (as in all other ampullariids), but the shell appears to be sinistral.[8] However the sinistral appearance stems from the fact that the rotation of the shell as it grows is in an upward direction rather than the usual downward direction.[8]


Three[3] subgenera have been recognized, based on shell differences: Lanistes sensu stricto, Meladomus and Leroya. These subgenera are not used in recent works.[3]

Extant species within the genus Lanistes include:

Fossil species within the genus Lanistes include:


  1. ^ Montfort P. D. de (1810). Conch. Syst. 2: 122.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Lanistes". The apple snail website, accessed 16 May 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Brown D. S. (1994). Freshwater Snails of Africa and their Medical Importance. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-7484-0026-5.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k van Damme D. & Pickford M. (1995). "The late Cenozoic ampullariidae (mollusca, gastropoda) of the Albertine Rift Valley (Uganda-Zaire)". Hydrobiologia 316(1): 1-32. doi:10.1007/BF00019372.
  5. ^ Grandidier (1887). Bull. Soc. malac. France 4: 191.
  6. ^ Swainson (1840). Treat. Malacol., page 340.
  7. ^ Bouchet, P.; Neubauer, Thomas A. (2015). Lanistes Montfort, 1810. In: MolluscaBase (2015). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2015-11-11
  8. ^ a b c "Shell". The apple snail website, accessed 16 May 2011.

External links[edit]