ARIOPHANTIDAE are a terrestrial molluscan family that has a geographical range throughout Southeast Asia.  Among the more than 65 Ariophantid genera classified in 6 subfamilies, this helical-shaped group is by no means mundane.  The boldly banded Asperitas from Indonesia, and the brightly colored Naninia and Elaphroconcha of Indonesia and New Guinea are representative of the more showy Ariophantid genera.  The Genus Dyakia of Indonesia, and the species Ariophanta laevipes from India, the type species of the genus, are naturally sinistral.  Some species reach three inches in diameter and others a scant five millimeters.  A few of the more colorful species exhibit an extraordinary range of color variation.  Species such as Naninia citrina can be found in an almost unlimited number of color variations within a single population.  Others such as Asperitas trochus vary within individual populations and throughout its range.  Some of the varieties are given subspecific status.   Even the most drab and unicolored Ariophantid species have subtle characteristics that make them appealing.

LITERATURE: Most of the literature pertaining to Ariophantidae are scattered in a pethora of monographs and scientific publications.  Among the popular land shell literature, Compendium of Landshells, by R.Tucker Abbott is the best starting point for indentification of the group, illustrating representatives of the larger and more showy genera.  It would take many Web pages to list all of the pertinent literature that include references to the Ariophantidae.
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Phylum: MOLLUSCA (Linné, 1758) Cuvier, 1795

Class: GASTROPODA Cuvier, 1797

Subclass: PULMONATA Cuvier 1817

Order: STYLOMMATOPHORA A. Schmidt, 1855

Suborder: SIGMURETHRA Pilsbry, 1900

Superfamily: HELIXARIONOIDEA [ =Helicarionoidea]

Family: ARIOPHANTIDAE Godwin-Austen, 1888 [?Germain, 1921]

Highlight and click the classification term for a definition and additional information.

Ref.: Zilch, A., 1959-60. Gastropoda Teil 2 Euthyneura, in Schindewolf, O. H., ed., Handbuch der Paläozoologie, Berlin, Borntraeger, p. I-XII + I-XII, 1-834.

Subfamily: Dyakiinae

Subfamily: Parmarioninae

Subfamily: Girasiinae

Subfamily: Macrochlamydinae

Subfamily: Chroninae

Subfamily: Durgellinae

Subfamily: Dyakiinae back to menu
Ariophanta laevipes (Müller, 1774) - India, 25mm - The type species of the genus. Geographically limited in range to India. Banded and unbanded forms exist. Asperitas everetti (E.A. Smith, 1897) - Indonesia, 61mm - Limited to central and eastern Flores Island. The green color is periostracum, which varies in intensity and hue among the various geographical populations. It grows to be one of the largest Asperitas species, and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. Asperitas stuartiae (Sowerby, 1845) - Indonesia, 29-34mm - A rare species limited to the islands off of southern Sulawesi. The patterns of fine encircling bands varies considerably. The shell is thin and fragile.
Asperitas trochus (Müller, 1774) - Indonesia, 27-34mm - A pure white form endemic to one island in the Komodo Islands. The color and patterns of the species varies throughout the range of the species in the Nusa Tenggara region. Elaphroconcha cochlostyloides (Schepman, 1892) - Indonesia, 33-41mm - Endemic to Sumba Island. One of the more capricious Ariophantid species where the color transforms during growth, probably influenced by environmental changes. Elaphroconcha cochlostyloides viridis (Schepman, 1892) - Indonesia, 35-44mm - Some populations contain specimens that have predominantly green shells which were designated as E. c. viridis. Many of the populations exhibit very different and distinct color forms, yet in a large series the color forms show many similarities. The white band is a cuticle-like periostracum. The brown coloration is also periostracum.
Subfamily: Parmarioninae back to menu
Subfamily: Girasiinae back to menu
Subfamily: Macrochlamydinae back to menu
Subfamily: Chroninae back to menu
Subfamily: Durgellinae back to menu