Acavus superbus (a large land snail)

Acavus superbus belongs to a genus of large, brightly coloured land snails that is endemic to Sri Lanka.

Species detail

The shell of Acavus superbus:

  • ranges from 4-6 cm in width
  • varies from dark brown to pink
  • is usually covered by a layer of green algae in adults

There are 3 distinct colour forms of the species.

The snail's body is a dark, glossy coffee brown. 

  • The 3 different colour forms of Acavus superbus
    Taxonomy

    Find out about the 3 colour forms of this snail species, discover how it can be readily distinguished from close relatives and get information about the ancient group of land snails it belongs to.



  • Garden of a Sri Lankan village home
    Distribution and habitat

    Acavus superbus is confined to southwestern Sri Lanka, occurring in lowland rainforest and wooded village gardens. Find out more about its distribution in relation to other Acavus snails.

  • Egg of an Acavus snail alongside an adult shell
    Biology and behaviour

    Learn about the biology and behaviour of these tree-dwelling snails, which lay eggs as long as 2cm. Get information about what they eat, as well as what might eat them.

  • Sri Lankan rainforest and tea small holdings on the Bulutota hills
    Conservation

    Learn more about the threat to this species from habitat loss and fragmentation.


  • Different views of the shell of the land snail, Acavus superbus
    References

    Get reference information for Acavus superbus.

Images

Acavus superbus

The large land snail, Acavus superbus, has a brightly coloured shell that, in adults, is often covered with green algae.

The 3 different colour forms of Acavus superbus

The 3 different colour forms of Acavus superbus, superbus (left), grevillei (centre) and roseolabiatus (right).

A. heamstoma and A. phoenix shells

Shells of Acavus heamstoma (left) and A. phoenix.

Oligospira polei shell

Oligospira polei shell

Garden of a Sri Lankan village home

A village home garden near Neluwa in southwestern Sri Lanka, the habitat of Acavus haemastoma (image: D. Raheem, Natural History Museum).

Egg of an Acavus snail alongside an adult shell

An egg of an Acavus snail, beside an adult shell for comparison.

Acavus snail resting on the trunk of a jak tree

An Acavus snail resting on the trunk of a jak tree (Artocarpus nobilis). These snails have been observed feeding on the ripe fruit of the jak, which is a common tree species of village home gardens.

Sri Lanka rainforest and tea small holdings on the Bulutota hills

The Bulutota hills, southwestern Sri Lanka. The foreground on the right shows where rainforest has been converted to tea small holdings (image: D. Raheem, Natural History Museum).

Different views of the shell of the land snail, Acavus superbus

Different views of the shell of the land snail, Acavus superbus