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Bullastra lessoni (Deshayes, 1830)

Diagnostic features

This globose, thin-shelled species is distinguished from the northern Bullastra vinosa by its shorter spire and more globose shape.


Bullastra lessoni (Deshayes, 1830)

Common name: Southern Bubble Pond Snail

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Heterobranchia

Order Hygrophila

Superfamily Lymnoidea

Family Lymnaeidae

Genus Bullastra Bergh, 1901

Original name: Limnaea lessoni Deshayes, 1830. Deshayes, G.P. (1830) in, Guérin-Méneville, F.E. (ed.) Magasin de Zoologie, journal destiné à Établir une correspondance entre les Zoologists de tous les pays, et à leur faciliter les moyens de publierles espèces nouvelles ou peu conneus qu'ils possedent. 2me sect. Mollusques et Zoophytes. Paris: Arthus Bertrand.

Type locality: New Holland (=Australia).

Synonyms: Limnaea perlevis Conrad, 1850; Amphipeplea strangei Pfeiffer, 1854; Amphipeplea melbournensis Pfeiffer, 1856; Amphipeplea involuta Schmeltz, 1869; Limnaea cumingii Sowerby, 1872; Limnaea globosa Sowerby, 1872; Limnaea spirulata Sowerby, 1872; Peplimnea lessoni thema Iredale, 1944; Peplimnea opima Iredale, 1944; Peplimnea spiriger Iredale, 1944.

Biology and ecology

Amongst water weeds etc., in dams, ponds, billabongs, sluggish rivers and streams etc. Often seen with the foot uppermost floating on the surface of the water. Common. Feeds on algae and detritus. Egg mass a crescent-shaped jelly strip containing many small eggs. Development direct.

Additional information on the biology and ecology of members of this family can be found in Fauna of Australia, vol. 5B, p. 1069-1071.


Throughout southern Australia, although absent from the Nullabor Plain and much of western South Australia.

Further reading

Beesley, P. L., Ross, G. J. B. & Wells, A., Eds. (1998). Mollusca: The Southern Synthesis. Parts A & B. Melbourne, CSIRO Publishing.

Blair, D. & Finlayson, C. M. (1981). Observations on the habitat and biology of a lymnaeid snail, Austropeplea vinosa (Gastropoda: Pulmonata), an intermediate host of avian schistosomes in tropical Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 32: 757-767.

Boray, J. C. & McMichael, D. F. (1961). The identity of the Australian lymnaeid snail host of Fasciola hepatica L. and its response to environment. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 12: 150-163.

Hubendick, B. (1951). Recent Lymnaeidae: their variation, morphology, taxonomy, nomenclature and distribution. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademiens Handlingar 3: 1-223.

Iredale, T. (1943). A basic list of the fresh water Mollusca of Australia. Australian Zoologist 10: 188-230.   

Ponder, W. F., Clark, S. A. & Dallwitz, M. J. (2000). Freshwater and estuarine molluscs: an interactive, illustrated key for New South Wales. Melbourne, CSIRO Publishing.

Puslednik, L., Ponder, W. F., Dowton, M. & Davis, A. R. (2009). Examining the phylogeny of the Australasian Lymnaeidae (Heterobranchia: Pulmonata: Gastropoda) using mitochondrial, nuclear and morphological markers. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52: 643-659.

Smith, B. J. (1992). Non-marine Mollusca. Pp. i-xii, 1-408 in W. W. K. Houston. Zoological Catalogue of Australia, 8. Canberra, Australian Government Publishing Service.

Smith, B. J. & Kershaw, R. C. (1979). Field guide to the non-marine Molluscs of South-eastern Australia. Canberra, A.N.U. Press.

Shea, M. (1995). Freshwater molluscs of Sydney. Australian Shell News 88: 4-6.