Biodiversity Profile: Oblong Rocksnail

 

Scientific name: Leptoxis compacta

Status: Presumed extinct, until a single population was discovered recently in Alabama. This freshwater gastropod is still highly susceptible to a single catastrophic extinction event, such as a large pollution incident or a natural climactic threat.

Range: Endemic to Alabama; historically restricted to the Cahaba River and one Coosa River tributary

Habitat: Freshwater shoal habitats

Distinguishing features: About the size of a nickel with a yellow body and a black band on its head, this snail has unique, microscopic teeth, used to scrape algae off of rocks

Source: NatureServe Explorer and University of Alabama News

This freshwater snail, declared extinct in 2000, was recently rediscovered in the Cahaba River by a University of Alabama graduate student. In the next five years, NatureServe will strategically pursue opportunities to tap citizen science and build partner collaborations to support more comprehensive gathering of observation data and documentation of trends in the distribution and condition of species and ecosystems.