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Austropyrgus ronkershawi 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 ronkershawi differs from other members of the group in the following combination of characters: shell small to medium in size, spire elongate to average length, outline straight and whorls convex; pallial vas deferens S-shaped at prostate gland.

This species is found in sympatry with at least three other species of Austropyrgus (A. gunnii, A. lochi and A. diemensis) throughout its currently recognized range. It differs from A. gunnii in its smaller, narrower shell with less rounded whorls, from A. lochi in its larger, broader shell with a shorter spire, and from A. diemensis in its narrower shell with less rounded whorls.

Classification

Austropyrgus ronkershawi Clark, Miller & Ponder 2003

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Littorinimorpha

Superfamily Truncatelloidea

Family Tateidae

Genus Austropyrgus Cotton, 1942

Original name: Austropyrgus ronkershawi 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: Black Sugarloaf Creek at Bensemanns Road, west of Birralee, 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 known from a number of small streams and rivers of central northern Tasmania.

Notes

Although most species of Austropyrgus are geographically isolated and have restricted ranges, a few such as A. ronkershawi have somewhat wider 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.