What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange Tentacled Mountain Snail
Location: Mulu National Park, Borneo
May 18, 2014 7:16 am
On my recent climb to the Pinnacles limestone formation at the Mulu National Park, I encountered this strange grey and red snail displaying two long grey tentacles emerging from its back at an elevation of about 1000 metres above sea level. I have not seen this snail elsewhere and I see it turn up again and again in pictures from blogs of other folks who have climbed the Pinnacles – but till date, no one was able to give a positive ID.
Signature: Yours sincerely, Kok Sen Wai

Terrestrial Snail

Terrestrial Snail

Dear Kok Sen Wai,
We can’t believe we are posting two requests for very unusual Terrestrial Snails in the same day.  The markings on the shell of your Snail are very similar to this example of
Naninia obiana from Indonesia that is posted to FlickR.  We did find a matching example on FlickR that is unidentified and Eric Hunt who posted the image made this observation:  “The snail had two structures that it rapidly wiped over the shell like it was cleaning it.”  There is also an image on Laura Loves It’s Blog and another example on FlickR.  We will try contacting Susan Hewitt who frequently assists in the identification of Molluscs on our site to see if she has any ideas.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Mulu National Park, Borneo

5 Responses to Terrestrial Snail from Borneo

  1. Susan J. Hewitt says:

    Wow, what a fascinating snail! The soft parts are a lot more curious, interesting and distinctive than the shell and its markings (a yellow shell like this with a black band is found in several families). Right off the bat I have no idea what this is, as I am not very good on tropical land snails. I get the chance I will try to research it over the next day or so, but I may not have much luck.

  2. Susan J. Hewitt says:

    Yay! I heard back from an expert, Harry G. Lee of Jacksonville, Florida. He says (as I expected) that the soft parts are the crucial thing for ID-ing this snail. He is pretty sure of the species, but says it could also perhaps be another species in the same genus. The species is sometimes called Nanina citrina or Naninia citrina, but it is correctly known as Xesta citrina (Linnaeus, 1758). It is in the family Ariophantidae. Harry says it is a “posterchild paleotropical pulmonate”! What an amazing little beast it is! The soft parts of the animal are a thousand times more interesting than the shell. By the way, this snail makes and uses love darts before mating. 🙂

  3. Susan J. Hewitt says:

    Ah, well, then I must refer you to the Wikipedia article on that subject:


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