Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Key to Genus Cytora

Cytora are litter-dwelling detritivores that, with the exception of an occasional case of arborealism in some species, occur on the forest floor. Cytora is widely distributed in New Zealand, with species represented in the Three Kings, North, South, Stewart and Auckland islands. Highest species richness occurs in the northern North Island and north-western South Island. Cytora species are notably absent from much of mid-Canterbury (including Banks Peninsula) and Central Otago in the South Island, the upper montane areas of both North and South islands, and from the offshore Kermadec, Chatham and Campbell islands.

Several Cytora species are identified as of conservation concern in the New Zealand Threat Classification System Lists (Hitchmough et al. 2007) (also see Marshall & Barker 2007). Robust identification of species is an essential first step to conservation management.

In the New Zealand land snail fauna, the Cyclophoroidea are represented by the indemic genera Liarea Gray, 1852 and Cytora Kobelt & Möllendorff, 1897. The systematic affinities of these genera has not been fully resolved, reflecting in large part the poor understanding of the evolutionary history and unstable higher systematics of cyclophoraceans globally (see Barker 2001). Presently Cytora and Liarea are assigned to the family Pupinidae.

The genus Cytora was recently revised by Marshall and Barker (2007), who recognised a total of 42 species. This key is based on that revision.


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How to cite

Barker GM, Marshall BA 2008. Keys to New Zealand land snails – 1. Genus Cytora. Published online by Landcare Research and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

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Date of access: 10 Aug 2020