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Gabbia Tryon, 1865

Diagnostic features

Small-sized, globose shells with a raised spire, a thick calcareous, concentric operculum, a bifurcate penis that has pallial innervation, a pallial kidney, the gill and mantle edge modified for ciliary feeding and no metapodial or pallial tentacles.


Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Littorinimorpha 

Superfamily Truncatelloidea

Family Bithyniidae

Genus Gabbia Tryon, 1865

Type species: Gabbia australis Tryon, 1865 (= Bithynia vertiginosa Frauenfeld, 1862) by monotypy.

Original reference: Tryon, G.W. (1865) Descriptions of new species of Amnicola, Pomatiopsis, Pomatogyrus, Gabbia, Hydrobia and Rissoa. American Journal of Conchology 1: 219–222.

Type locality: 'New Holland'.

Synonyms: Mysoria Godwin-Austen, 1919a; Mysorella Godwin-Austen, 1919b

State of taxonomy

We follow Ponder  (2003) in this resource. 

Biology and ecology

Typically living in temporary ponds, billabongs, swamps and sluggish streams. Some also inhabit artesian springs. They are ciliary filter feeders utilising the gill and some are grazers. They are oviparous.


Asia, Australia. Gabbia is found mainly in the inland, the east coast, and the northern coastal drainages of the Australian mainland. They are absent from Tasmania and the south-west corner of Western Australia.


Some Asian bithyniids are important intermediate hosts of the human bile fluke (Clonorchis sinensis). Several Asian taxa also serve as the first intermediate host of Opisthorchis viverrini, a liver fluke infecting humans, cats and dogs in Thailand. Parasites have been recorded from Australian taxa.

An Indian species, Gabbia stenothyroides (Dohrn, 1857), has been intercepted by Australian Biosecurity (A. Broadley, pers. comm.).

Further reading

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

Cotton, B. C. (1942). Australian Gastropoda of the families Hydrobiidae, Assimineidae and Acmeidae. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 66: 124–131.

Frauenfeld, G. R. v. (1862). Versuch einer Aufzählung der Arten der Gattung Bithynia Lch. und Nematura Bns. nach der kaiserlichen und Cuming’s Sammlung. Verhandlungen der Kaiser-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 12: 1145-1161.

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

Iredale, T. (1944). Guide to the freshwater shells of New South Wales. Part 2. Australian Naturalist (Sydney) 11: 113–127.

Ponder, W. F. (2003). Monograph of the Australian Bithyniidae (Caenogastropoda: Rissooidea). Zootaxa 230: 1-126.

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, E.A. (1882).On the freshwater shells of Australia. Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 16: 255–316.

Smith, E. A. (1887). Notes on Australian species of Bithinia, Segmentina, and Fusus and description of a new Melania. Journal of Conchology 5: 235-238.

Tate, R. (1882). The land and freshwater molluscs of tropical South Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 5: 47-56.