Chilonopsis melanioides (Wollaston)

Dark Saint Helena Awl Snail (Chilonopsis melanioides 

This species was described in the year 1878 based on specimens that were collected at Diana’s Peak, Saint Helena’s highest point, at an elevation of about 600 m.  

The shells reached a height of 0,9 to 1,1 cm.  


The species was still extant, when it was discovered, but nevertheless it was already in the state of final extinction, see hereto Thomas Vernon Wollaston in the year 1878 (Testacea Atlantica).:  

… though a single living example which was secured by Mr. P. Whitehead in an immediately adjoining locality sufficed abundantly to indicate the modus vivendi of the species, – it having been taken at the roots of one of the damp masses of intermingled moss and grass which pad the base of the perpendicular rocks formed by the excavation of what is known as the ‘Cabbage-Tree Road’. There can be little doubt, consequently, that the S. melanioides will be ascertained to occur in humid places generally along the northern slopes of the ridge below Diana’s Peak.” [1]  



[1] T. Vernon Wollaston: Testacea Atlantica: or the Land and Freshwater Shells of the Azores, Madeiras, Salvages, Canaries, Cape Verdes, and Saint Helena. London: L. Reeve & Co. 1878 
[2] Edgar A. Smith: On the Land-Shells of St. Helena. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 258-270. 1892  


Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 17, African Achatinidae 1904-1905’  

(public domain)


edited: 21.03.2018