The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database

Achatinella apexfulva Dixon, 1789

Dusky-apex Oahu tree-snail



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

The first land snail described from the Hawaiian Islands.


Achatinella apexfulva has 14 synonyms:

Achatinella lugubris Chemnitz

Achatinella pica Swainson

Achatinella vespertina Baldwin

Achatinella apicata var. alba Sykes

Achatinella apicata Newcomb

Achatinella swiftii var. Newcomb

Achatinella aptycha Pfeiffer

Helix Avex Fulva Dixon

Turbo apexfulva Dixon, 1798 (original combination?)

Turbo lugubris Chemnitz

Monodonta seminigra Lamarck

Bulimus seminiger Mke

Apex gulickii Smith

Apex lilaceus Gulick.


Conservation Status

Last Record

1 January 2019 (in captivity) (source); 1985 in the wild?

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered


This species was formerly extinct in the wild, with only a single individual in captivity as of March 2011:

[i]"The lab has nine of the ten remaining [b]Achatinella[/b] species, though that number is likely to drop to eight in the near future: The lab’s lone [b]Achatinella apexfulva[/b] is probably the last survivor. No one has seen it in the wild for more than a decade."[/i]

(Crowl, 2011[: third page of story])


There had been ten individuals, but a mass die off due to unknown causes, rendered George the probable endling.

Cowie et al. (2017) list the species' conservation status as "EX?", implying that the presumed endling had passed away sometime since March 2011. However, David Sischo announced on 4 January 2019 that "George" had passed away on New Year's Day:

"George, the last known [i]Achatinella apexfulva[/i] died on New Year’s Day 2019. George was approximately 14 years old. He is survived by none…"



Oahu, Hawaiian Islands, USA


Biology & Ecology










Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. pp. 378. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Cowie, Robert H., Régnier, Claire, Fontaine, Benoît, and Bouchet, Philippe. (2017). Measuring the Sixth Extinction: what do mollusks tell us? The Nautilus 131(1): 3-41.

Cowie Robert H., Héros Virginie, Yeung Norine W. and Hayes Kenneth A. (2016). Annotated catalogue of types of Hawaiian land and fresh-water snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda) in the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, with lectotype designations. Zoosystema 38(2): 245-266.

Crowl, Janice. (2011). Kahuli Homecoming. Hana Hou! 14(2): [pagination?].

van Dooren, Thom. (2017). The last snail: loss, hope and care for the future, pp. 145-[152?]. In: Newell, Jennifer, Robin, Libby and Wehner, Kirsten (eds.). Curating the Future: Museums, Communities and Climate Change. Abingdon & New York: Routledge. [relevant reference?]

Groombridge, B. (ed.). 1994. 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Hadfield, Michael and Hadway, L. (1996). Achatinella apexfulva. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. ( Downloaded on 19 September 2011.

IUCN. 1990. IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Price, M. R., Hadfield, M. G., Knapp, I. S. S., Toonen, R. J. and Forsman, Z. H. (2021). Evolutionary genomics of endangered Hawaiian tree snails (Achatinellidae: Achatinellinae) for conservation of adaptive capacity. PeerJ 9:e10993. [Supplemental Information 1 (Maximum likelihood (ML) trees); Supplemental Information 2 (Tree snail sample attributes by taxonomy)]

Price, M. R., Sischo, D., Pascua, M. and Hadfield, M. G. (2015). Demographic and genetic factors in the recovery or demise of ex situ populations following a severe bottleneck in fifteen species of Hawaiian tree snails. PeerJ 3: e1406.

Régnier, Claire, Fontaine, Benoît and Bouchet, Philippe. (2009). Not Knowing, Not Recording, Not Listing: Numerous Unnoticed Mollusk Extinctions. Conservation Biology 23(5): 1214-1221.

Welch, d'Alté Aldridge. (1942). Distribution and variation of the Hawaiian tree snail Achatinella apexfulva Dixon in the Koolau Range, Oahu. Smithson. Misc. Collect. 103: 1-236, + 12 plates.

Wells, S.M., Pyle, R.M. and Collins, N.M. (compilers) 1983. The IUCN Invertebrate Red Data Book. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.


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