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Vietnam's terrestrial gastropod fauna is astonishingly diverse, but relatively poorly known. More than 850 species have been described and these represent more than 160 genera in over 30 families. These species were mostly described in the 19th and early 20th centuries (mainly in the period from 1840-1920), after which there was a long period of neglect. Although scientific interest in the Vietnamese land snail fauna has been growing over the past two decades, current knowledge is still very limited. Taxonomic and distributional data are scarce for many of the snail species originally described from Vietnam. Recent surveys have concentrated on the rich snail fauna of limestone karst hills, where many new species have been found and doubtless many remain to be discovered, but there have been only very limited surveys of Vietnam's extensive natural forests. While substantial areas of forest possess acidic soils with low snail densities and possibly high species diversity, other forests contain soils rich in calcium carbonate with both high snail density and diversity.
This guide provides a visual introduction to the diverse and fascinating land snail fauna of Vietnam. Many of the genera native to Vietnam are featured and with the aid of this guide It should be possible to identify many of them in the field, as well as to recognize a few of the more distinctive native species (exotic species are not Included). Species are grouped by family with species arranged in columns. Familes either end mid-column (indicated by a black line) or at the lower end of a column. Uncertain species-level identifications are shown by the use of 'sp.' after the genus-level name.