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Austropyrgus fonscultus Clark, Miller & Ponder 2003

Diagnostic features

This species belongs to the Austropyrgus sparsus group, whose members are characterised by the following shell features: small to medium sized shells, conical, with convex to slightly convex whorls. Furthermore, in females, the coiled oviduct is of an inverted U-shape or with two or more bends, loops or twists.

Austropyrgus fonscultus differs from other members of the group in the following combination of characters: shell small, with slightly convex whorls and straight spire outline, inner lip of aperture firmly adhering to parietal wall; seminal vesicle slightly undulating over stomach; ¼ or less to about 1/3 of the albumen gland in front of posterior pallial wall.

This species has been found in sympatry with one species of Austropyrgus (A. latus) throughout its currently recognized range. It is distinguished from A. latus by its much smaller size and convex whorls.

Classification

Austropyrgus fonscultus Clark, Miller & Ponder 2003

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Littorinimorpha

Superfamily Truncatelloidea

Family Tateidae

Genus Austropyrgus Cotton, 1942

Original name: Austropyrgus fonscultus 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: Small springs on property of B.S. Milstead, north of Umpherstone Bay, South Australia.

Biology and ecology

In streams and springs 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 the small streams and large springs associated with the limestone sinkholes distributed in south-eastern corner of South Australia.

Notes

Most members of Austropyrgus, including this species, are geographically isolated and have restricted ranges.

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.