Consider a group of species that is evenly divided by an easily identifiable complex morphological character. Most biologists would assume that this character should provide better phylogenetic information than, say, the spatial distribution of these species over a fairly continuous 500-km radius area. Paradoxically, this is not the case among terrestrial snail genera in the clausiliid subfamily Alopiinae. Phylogenetic analysis using the nuclear markers ITS1/ITS2 and mitochondrial markers COI/12S reveals widespread homoplasy in the clausilial apparatus (a complex aperture-closing mechanism), and concomitant extensive polyphyly among Carinigera, Isabellaria, and Sericata. In contrast, phylogenetic relationships as revealed by molecular data are closely congruent with biogeography at a relatively small scale. A combination of extremely low vagility and extremely high morphological convergence has conspired to produce this unexpected result. Implications as to the function of the clausilial apparatus are discussed.