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Austropyrgus conicus Clark, Miller & Ponder 2003

Diagnostic features

This species belongs to the Austropyrgus cooma group, whose members are characterised by generally pupiform to conical, small to medium sized shells, where the last whorl and base are evenly convex. A. conicus differs from other members of the group in the following combination of characters: shell small, with straight to weakly-convex spire outline, convex whorls; central teeth with 2 pairs of basal cusps; pallial vas deferens strongly undulating at prostate gland; penis not pigmented.

This species can be found in sympatry with up to seven species of Austropyrgus (A. lochi, A. juliae, A. stevensmithi, A. smithii, A. mersus, A. rectoides and A. procerus) throughout its currently recognized range, although in any one locality the number of taxa is no more than three. The shell of this species is most similar to A. smithii, from which it differs in being larger and broader.

Classification

Austropyrgus conicus Clark, Miller & Ponder 2003

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Littorinimorpha

Superfamily Truncatelloidea

Family Tateidae

Genus Austropyrgus Cotton, 1942

Original name: Austropyrgus conicus 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: Chester Creek, tributary of Arthur River, Tasmania.

Biology and ecology

In streams on water weeds, hard substrate (rocks etc.) and crawling on litter and sediment. Can be locally abundant. Assumed to feed by scraping bacteria and microalgae. Lay solitary capsules containing a 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

This species is found in streams and rivers in the northwest corner of Tasmania.

Notes

While most species of Austropyrgus are geographically isolated and have restricted ranges, this one has a reasonably wide range in the north western part of Tasmania where it is sympatric with several other species of Austropyrgus (see Diagnostic features).

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.