Species Description: This tree snail is a member of the Oahu clade (see Former Habitat below) of the Achatinella genus of tree snails. The snail has been referred to as the "yellow-tipped tree-snail," since apexfulva refers to its "yellow-tipped" shell.
Former Habitat: Achatinella apexfulva was native to the forests of Oahu island, Hawaii. The yellow-tipped tree-snail and all other species of tree snails in Hawaii are theorized to have evolved from a single ancestor that somehow found its way to the Pacific islands.
Extinction: The yellow-tipped tree-snail had been listed as federally endangered since 1981. The main cause of the snail's declining populations has been attributed to the rosy wolfsnail, which was theorized to control household pests when introduced to Hawaii in the 1950s. The only remaining A. apexfulva that could be found in the wild were collected in 1997 for attempted breeding in captivity. Only one specimen successfully survived: a single individual named George. (George was named after Lonely George, a single tortoise who was also the last of his species.) By 2011, George was the only remaining specimen of his species; he died in captivity on January 1, 2019 at the age of 14. With George's death came the total extinction of Achatinella apexfulva.
For Further Reading:
Bowler, Jacina (January 9, 2019). "Lonely George – A Hawaiian Tree Snail – Has Died, Taking His Species With Him". Science Alert. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
"George, Reclusive Hawaiian Snail And Last Of His Kind, Dies At 14". NPR.org. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
Holland, Brenden S; Hadfield, Michael G (August 2004). "Origin and diversification of the endemic Hawaiian tree snails (Achatinellidae: Achatinellinae) based on molecular evidence". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 32 (2): 588–600. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.01.003.
Kurt Auffenberg & Lionel A. Stange (November 2001). "Snail-eating snails of Florida, Gastropoda". University of Florida. EENY251. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
"Species Profile for Oahu tree snail (Achatinella apexfulva)". ecos.fws.gov. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
"World's loneliest snail dies, and a species goes extinct". 2019-01-08. Retrieved March 29, 2019.