Leptaxis vetusta (Morelet & Drouet)

Ancient Leptaxis Snail (Leptaxis vetusta)  

The Ancient Leptaxis Snail is a species that is known exclusively from fossil and subfossil shells that were recovered from Late Pleistocene and Holocene deposits on the island of Santa Maria, Azores.

The species disappeared due to several reasons.:

Why became extinct this helicid? The explanation for the decline and extinction of this species is surely associated to environmental changes occurred inside its area of habitat, during last centuries. Evidences include (1) the destruction of the original laurel cover of Santa Maria, and the anthropic introduction of new botanic species; (2) a colonization by the introduced and opportunistic Otala lactea (Muller, 1774), one of the commonest and widespread land snails of the island.” [1]



[1] Pedro Callapez; A. Ferreira Soares; J. Marques: Rediscovery of Leptaxis vetusta (Morelet & Drouet, 1857), a subfossil land snail from the Quaternary of Santa Maria (Azores). Ciências da Terra (UNL) 15: 209-218. 2003 


Depiction from: ‘Arthur Morelet: Iles Açores. Notice sur l’histoire naturelle des Açores suivie d’une description des mollusques terrestres de cet archipel. Paris, Baillière 1860’

(public domain)


edited: 17.06.2020