The land snail Basedowena Iredale, 1937 currently comprises eight species that inhabit mountain ranges in the central Australian arid zone. By studying the variation in shell and genital anatomy and the differentiation in the mitochondrial markers 16S and COI, we revise the taxonomy of this camaenid and describe new taxa. We demonstrate that the current morphology-based classification has been misled by homoplasy mainly in shell shape. In fact, Basedowena as herein revised contains species with vastly different shells, which have so far been assigned to different genera. By contrast, these species have the same general genital anatomy in common and form a clade in the mitochondrial phylogeny. Based on these findings, we transfer Pleuroxia bethana, P. hinsbyi, P. elfina, P. oligopleura, P. polypleura, P. radiata, Montanomelon angatjana and Minimelon colmani to Basedowena. While Pleuroxia and Montanomelon are maintained as distinct genera, although with fewer species, the monotypic Minimelon becomes a junior synonym of Basedowena. We identify and describe three new Basedowena species (B. bicolor, sp. nov., B. holoserica, sp. nov., B. siparium, sp. nov.). A fourth new species differs substantially from all other arid zone camaenids and is hence placed in a new genus, Xeromelon, gen. nov. The revised delineation of Basedowena renders it now the most widespread camaenid genus in Australia. It is distributed throughout the Australian arid zone from Western Australia, via the Northern Territory and South Australia into New South Wales.
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Vol. 30 • No. 4