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Austropyrgus avius Clark, Miller & Ponder 2003

Diagnostic features

This is one of several species of Austropyrgus found in the southern half of New South Wales. They are all very similar, being separated on small differences in size and shape of the shells and in anatomical details. They have elongate-conic shells with adults having a slightly thickened aperture and the operculum bears several pegs.

This species, unlike the other two (A. wombeyanensis A. lippus) living near or at the Wombeyan Caves, lives away from the caves proper (see locality details) and differs from the others in the transparent shell having more flattened whorls and a distinctly reflected aperture.

Classification

Austropyrgus avius Clark, Miller & Ponder 2003

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Littorinimorpha

Superfamily Truncatelloidea

Family Tateidae

Genus Austropyrgus Cotton, 1942

Original name: Austropyrgus avius Clark, Miller & Ponder 2003. Clark, S. A., Miller, A. C. and Ponder, W. F. (2003). Revision of the snail genus Austropyrgus (Gastropoda: Hydrobiidae): A morphostatic radiation of freshwater gastropods in southeastern Australia.  Records of the Australian Museum Supplement 28: 1–109.

Type locality: Near Wombeyan Caves, by road.

Biology and ecology

On water weeds, hard substrate (rocks etc.) and crawling on litter and sediment. Abundant in the few metres of stream where it is known to occur. Assumed to feed by scraping bacteria and microalgae. Presumed solitary capsules with single egg. Direct development. Additional information on the biology and ecology of members of this family can be found in Fauna of Australia, vol. 5B, p. 752-755.

Distribution

Creek crossing Wombeyan Caves Rd., 2km E. of Goodmans Ford Bridge, New South Wales.

Notes

Most species of Austropyrgus are geographically isolated and have restricted ranges. This is one of three species found in the vicinity of Wombeyan Caves.

Further reading

Clark, S. A., Miller, A. C. & Ponder, W. F. (2003). Revision of the snail genus Austropyrgus (Gastropoda: Hydrobiidae): a morphostatic radiation of freshwater gastropods in southeastern Australia. Records of the Australian Museum 28: 1–109.