Print Fact Sheet

Fonscochlea (Wolfgangia) zeidleri Ponder, Hershler and Jenkins, 1989

Diagnostic features

Shell differs from Fonscochlea s.s. in being rather thicker, and the aperture has a thickened peristome. Operculum is thick with prominent pegs. Female genital system as for genus except oviduct between capsule gland and bursal duct always straight (looped in the typical subgenus) and sperm sacs lie dorsal to the muscular oviduct while in the typical subgenus they are ventral to the oviduct. The ducts of the sperm sacs are ventral to the sacs, not ventral as in the typical subgenus.

Classification

Fonscochlea (Wolfgangia) zeidleri Ponder, Hershler and Jenkins, 1989

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Littorinimorpha 

Superfamily Truncatelloidea

Family Tateidae

Genus Fonscochlea Ponder, Hershler and Jenkins, 1989

Subgenus Wolfgangia Ponder, Hershler and Jenkins, 1989 (Type species: Fonscochlea (Wolfgangia) zeidleri Ponder, Hershler and Jenkins, 1989)

Original name: Fonscochlea (Wolfgangia) zeidleri Ponder, Hershler and Jenkins, 1989. Ponder, W. F., Hershler, R. & Jenkins, B. (1989). An endemic radiation of hydrobiid snails from artesian springs in northern South Australia: their taxonomy, physiology, distribution and anatomy.Malacologia 31: 1-140.

Type locality: Coward Springs, Lake Eyre Division, South Australia.

Biology and ecology

This form, the most widely distributed of the mound spring snails of South Australia, is of special interest because of its amphibious habitat. It lives in most springs along the edges of the outflows where it is either exposed or partly or completely buried in the substrate. Lives together with Trochidrobia.

Fully aquatic (Form B) and amphibious (Form A) forms occur. The amphibious form lives along the edges of the outflows where it is either exposed, as on the hard substrates found on the calcareous mounds, or partly or completely buried in the sediment. The preference for burrowing in the substrate appears to differ between spring groups and might not be due entirely to substrate differences. For example the populations of this species at Hermit Hill are extremely cryptic, mainly because of this habit, whereas at Welcome Springs, with similar substrate available, they are much more conspicuous, large numbers being present on the surface.

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

Northern South Australia, Mound Springs of the Lake Eyre Supergroup. Middle Springs, Southern Springs, south western Springs, Freeling Springs, Oodnadatta Complex, Big Cadnaowie Spring.

Notes

Two forms of this species occur (forms A & B), they are considerably geographically isolated, and have distinctive shell shapes Form B and its fully aquatic habit, thus differing from the amphibious habit of the typical form A (Ponder et al. 1989).

This is one of several species of Fonscochlea found in northern South Australia. They are all very similar, being separated on small differences in size and shape of the shells and in anatomical details. They have pupiform shells with adults having a thin to slightly thickened aperture and the operculum usually bears one or more pegs. Fonscochlea are among the most geographically isolated tateid snails in Australia.

Further reading

Ponder, W. F., Hershler, R. & Jenkins, B. (1989). An endemic radiation of Hydrobiidae from artesian springs in northern South Australia: their taxonomy, physiology, distribution and anatomy. Malacologia 31: 1-140.

Ponder, W. F., Eggler, P. E. & Colgan, D. J. (1995). Genetic differentiation of aquatic snails (Gastropoda: Hydrobiidae) from artesian springs in arid Australia. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 56: 553-596.

Ponder, W. F. (2004). Endemic aquatic macroinvertebrates of artesian springs of the Great Artesian Basin—progress and future directions. Records of the South Australian Museum Monograph Series 7: 101-110.