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Austropyrgus spectus 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.

Classification

Austropyrgus spectus Clark, Miller & Ponder 2003

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Littorinimorpha

Superfamily Truncatelloidea

Family Tateidae

Genus Austropyrgus Cotton, 1942

Original name: Austropyrgus spectus 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 at The Watering Place, 2 km from car park, Cape Duquesne, Victoria.

Biology and ecology

This species occurs in springs. It is found crawling on all substrates present within the springs and is very abundant. The springs themselves are very small, only a few centimetres deep at the most and only a few meters long before they enter the sea. As the water from the springs becomes brackish by mixing with seawater, the estuarine tateid Ascorhis tasmanicus (Martens, 1858) can be found living with A. spectus.

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 few quite small springs, all in close proximity to one another, which are located within a few meters of the Southern Ocean at Cape Duquesne, south of Portland, western Victoria.

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.