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Keywords:

  • Achatinoidea;
  • Helicoidea;
  • Limacoidea;
  • molecular phylogeny;
  • Mollusca;
  • ribosomal RNA genes;
  • rRNA;
  • Orthurethra

We have incorporated an additional 56 species of land snails and slugs in our ribosomal (r) RNA molecular phylogeny. The new taxa include representatives of several important groups. The molecular tree now includes 160 species of stylommatophoran land snails and slugs in 144 genera in 61 families. In the rDNA tree, the Stylommatophora are principally divided into an ‘achatinoid’ and a ‘non-achatinoid’ clade. Within these clades, several major land snail groups, including the Orthurethra, Elasmognatha, Limacoidea, and Helicoidea, are supported. Overall, the rDNA molecular phylogeny has remained stable following the incorporation of the additional taxa, with these additions having little impact on the major evolutionary patterns in the tree. Taxonomic coverage of the Orthurethra, Orthalicidae, Camaenidae, and Bradybaenidae is increased significantly. The camaenids and bradybaenids form a complex, and both appear to be paraphyletic. Several families of uncertain affinity, such as the Sagdidae and Thyrophorellidae, are included for the first time. The Sagdidae are shown to belong to the Helicoidea, and the Thyrophorellidae to the Achatinoidea. © 2006 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2006, 87, 593–610.