Lanistes ovum


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Lanistes ovum
Species Authority: Peters, 1845
Lanistes connollyi Pain, 1954
Lanistes elatior Haas, 1936
Lanistes innesi Pallary, 1902
Lanistes procerus Martens, 1866
Taxonomic Notes: This species might belong to a cryptic species complex.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-05-01
Assessor(s): Jørgensen, A., Kristensen, T.K., Lange, C.N., Stensgaard, A-S. & Van Damme, D.
Reviewer(s): Seddon, M., Van Damme, D., Graf, D.L., Appleton, C. & Bennett, L.
This is a widespread and common species. It is not under threat at present and assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Lanistes ovum is known from scattered localities throughout much of tropical Africa.

Central Africa: It is found throughout the Congo.

Eastern Africa: This species is widespread in the coastal regions of Kenya, Burundi and Lake Malawi.

Northeastern Africa: It is known from south Sudan and south Somalia.

Southern Africa: It occurs in the lower and middle Zambesi westward to Namibian border, and the Okavango delta and upstream as far as Bagani. It is found throughout Mozambique and Zimbabwe and southwards to Pongola River floodplain in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Appleton 1996). It has also been recorded from an unknown locality in Angola.

Western Africa: It is common from Senegal to Chad.
Angola (Angola, Angola); Botswana; Burundi; Cameroon; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No information available regarding population sizes, but the species is widespread and common.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It can be found in various waterbodies, standing and flowing, permanent and temporal.
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is used for animal feed.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No known threats to this widespread species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No specific conservation measures in place for this species.

Bibliography [top]

Appleton, C.C. 1996. Freshwater Molluscs of Southern Africa: With a Chapter on Bilharzia and its Snail Hosts. University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg.

Brown, D.S. 1994. Freshwater Snails of Africa and their Medical Importance. Taylor & Francis, London.

Brown, D.S. and Kristensen, T.K. 1993. A field guide to African freshwater snails. Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory, Charlottenlund, Denmark.

Brown, D.S. and Mandahl-Barth, G. 1987. Living molluscs of Lake Tanganyika: a revised and annotated list. Journal of Conchology 32: 305-327

Crossland, N.O. 1965. The pest status of the tadpole shrimp Triops granarius and of the snail Lanistes ovum in Swaziland rice paddies. Journal of Applied Ecology 2: 115-120.

DBL. 1982. Guide de terrain des gastropodes d'eau douce Africaines. 5: Afrique Centrale. Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Same-Ekobo, A., Wibaux-Charlois, M., Kristensen, T.K., Frandsen, F., Deniau, M. and Ripert, C.H. 1984. Distribution geographique et ecologie des mollusques dulcaquicoles du Cameroun. Institute de recherches medicales et d'etudes des plantes medicinales, Yaonde, Cameroun.

West, K. 2001. A guide to the Molluscs of Lake Malawi - Based on Published Literature and Field Collections Made By Patrick Baut. International Cooperation with Developing Countries (INCO-DC).

Citation: Jørgensen, A., Kristensen, T.K., Lange, C.N., Stensgaard, A-S. & Van Damme, D. 2010. Lanistes ovum. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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