Placostylus cuniculinsulae (Cox, 1872)

Lord Howe flax snail, Lord Howe placostylus



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Placostylus bivaricosus cuniculinsulae Cox, 1872; Bulimus cuniculinsulae Cox, 1872


Considered a junior synonym of P. bivaricosus by (MolluscaBase, 2021a,b).


Conservation Status

Extinct or invalid (synonym)

Last record: before 1901 (Department of the Environment, 2014)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


A targeted survey of Blackburn Island in 1999 did not find the species (Ponder & Chapman, 1999)



Blackburn (=Rabbit) Island*, in the lagoon of Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, Australia


* "Blackburn Island was named after David Blackburn, sailing master of the Supply. Its named changed to Goat Island, then Rabbit Island and back to Blackburn Island officially in 1973. The ‘Rabbit Island’ nickname probably has its origins from the unattended burrows of the Wedge-tailed shearwaters that are very similar to that of a rabbit."



Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Cox, J.C. (1872). Descriptions of new land-shells from Australia and the South-Sea islands. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1872: 18-23.

Other references:

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.

Breure, A. S. H. and Ablett, J. D. (2012). Annotated type catalogue of the Bothriembryontidae and Odontostomidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Orthalicoidea) in the Natural History Museum, London. ZooKeys 182: 1-70.

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.

Department of the Environment. (2014). Placostylus bivaricosus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:04:10 +1000.

Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW). (2007). Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan Appendices. Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Sydney. vii + 267 pp.

Etheridge, R. (1889). The general zoology of Lord Howe Island: containing also an account of the collections made by the Australian Museum collecting party, Aug.-Sept., 1887. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 2: 1-42, pls. 4-5.

Hyman, Isabel T. and Köhler, F. (2020). A Field Guide to the Land Snails of Lord Howe Island. Australian Museum.

Iredale, Tom. (1944). The land Mollusca of Lord Howe Island. Australian Zoologist 10: 299-334.

MolluscaBase eds. (2021a). MolluscaBase. Placostylus cuniculinsulae (Cox, 1872). Accessed at: on 2022-03-30

MolluscaBase eds. (2021b). MolluscaBase. Placostylus bivaricosus (Gaskoin, 1855). Accessed at: on 2022-03-30

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. (2001). Lord Howe Placostylus Placostylus bivaricosus recovery plan. NPWS, Hurstville, NSW.

Ponder, W. F. (1996). Placostylus cuniculinsulae. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. ( Downloaded on 21 April 2014.

Ponder, W.F. 1996. Placostylus cuniculinsulae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1996: e.T17449A7078923. Accessed on 02 July 2022.

Ponder, W. F. and Chapman, R. (1999). Survey of the Land Snail Placostylus bivaricosus on Lord Howe Island. Unpublished report to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Ponder, Winston, Colgan, Donald J., Gleeson, Dianne M. and Sherley, Greg H. (2003). Relationships of Placostylus from Lord Howe island: an investigation using the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 gene. Molluscan Research 23: 159-178.

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


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