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Austropyrgus sparsus (Iredale, 1944)

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. Most species of Austropyrgus are geographically isolated and have restricted ranges.


Austropyrgus sparsus (Iredale, 1944)

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Littorinimorpha

Superfamily Truncatelloidea

Family Tateidae

Genus Austropyrgus Cotton, 1942

Original name: Potamopyrgus sparsus Iredale, 1944. Iredale, T. (1944). Guide to the freshwater shells of New South Wales, class Gastropoda, part II. Australian Naturalist 11(5): 113-127. 

Type locality: Braidwood, New South Wales.

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. 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.


This species is known from a number of small streams around the Braidwood area of southern New South Wales.


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.

Iredale, T. (1944). Guide to the freshwater shells of New South Wales. class Gastropoda, part II. Australian Naturalist 11: 113–127.