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Placostylus ambagiosus priscus.JPG
A shell of the subspecies Placostylus ambagiosus priscus
Scientific classification

Beck, 1837[2]

Placostylus, or flax snails, are a genus of very large, air-breathing land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs in the family Bothriembryontidae.[1]

The shells of the snails in this genus can be as large as 4.5 inches (11 cm) in maximum dimension.

Many species within this genus are now extinct.


Placostylus is the type genus of the family Placostylidae.[3] It was placed within Placostylidae.[3]

Breure et al. (2010)[4] moved Prestonella and Bothriembryon to Placostylidae. Subsequently, Breure & Romero (2012)[1] confirmed previous results from 2010 and they renamed Placostylidae to Bothriembryontidae.[1]


This genus of snails occurs in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Lord Howe Island, and Northland in New Zealand. There are three species in New Zealand and no susbspecies.[5]


Species within this genus include:

subgenus Basileostylus Haas, 1935[6][7]

subgenus Maoristylus Haas, 1935[8][7]

subgenus ?


  1. ^ a b c d Breure A. S. H. & Romero P. (2012). "Support and surprises: molecular phylogeny of the land snail superfamily Orthalicoidea using a three-locus gene analysis with a divergence time analysis and ancestral area reconstruction (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora)". Archiv für Molluskenkunde: International Journal of Malacology 141(1): 1-20. doi:10.1127/arch.moll/1869-0963/141/001-020.
  2. ^ Beck H. H. (1837). Index Moll. Mus. Ch. Fred. (1): 57.
  3. ^ a b Bouchet, Philippe; Rocroi, Jean-Pierre; Frýda, Jiri; Hausdorf, Bernard; Ponder, Winston; Valdés, Ángel & Warén, Anders (2005). "Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families". Malacologia. Hackenheim, Germany: ConchBooks. 47 (1–2): 1–397. ISBN 3-925919-72-4. ISSN 0076-2997.
  4. ^ Breure A. S. H., Groenenberg D. S. J. & Schilthuizen M. (2010). "New insights in the phylogenetic relations within the Orthalicoidea (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora) based on 28S sequence data". Basteria 74(1-3): 25-31.
  5. ^ a b c d Buckley T. R., Stringer I., Gleeson D., Howitt R., Attanayake D., Parrish R., Sherley G. & Rohan M. (2011). "A revision of the New Zealand Placostylus land snails using mitochondrial DNA and shell morphometric analyses, with implications for conservation". New Zealand Journal of Zoology 38(1): 55-81. doi:10.1080/03014223.2010.527997.
  6. ^ Haas (1935). Zool. Anz. 109: 189.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Class Gastropoda". New Zealand Mollusca, accessed 26 December 2010.
  8. ^ Haas (1935). Zool. Anz. 109: 188.
  9. ^ Ponder W. F., Colgan D. J., Gleeson D. M. & Sherley G. H. (2003). "Relationships of Placostylus from Lord Howe Island: an investigation using the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 gene". Molluscan Research 23(2): 159-178. doi:10.1071/MR03001
  10. ^ ICZN (1992). "Opinion 1662. Limax fibratus Martyn, 1784 and Nerita hebraea Martyn, 1786 (currently Placostylus fibratus and Nerita hebraea; Mollusca, Gastropoda): specific names conserved; and Placostylus Beck, 1837; L. fibratus designated as the type species". Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 49: 74-75.

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