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Glyptophysa (Glyptophysa) aliciae (Reeve, 1862)

Diagnostic features

The taxonomy of Glyptophysa is very poorly understood. This is  the only species with periostracal ridges and shouldered whorls.

Only Bayardella spp.have similar heavy periostracal spiral ridges. B. cosmeta has a narrower spire and a less distinct shoulder and tends to be smaller than G. aliciae.


Glyptophysa (Glyptophysa) aliciae (Reeve, 1862)

Common name: Alice's Pouch Snail

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Heterobranchia

Order Hygrophila

Superfamily Planorboidea

Family Planorbidae

Genus Glyptophysa Crosse, 1872

Subgenus Glyptophysa

Original name: Physa (Ameria) aliciae Reeve, 1862. Reeve, L.A. (1862). On a new form of Physa, of the section Ameria, received from George French Angas Esq., of Angaston, South Australia, corresponding member of the Society. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1862: 105-107.

Type locality: Lower Murray River, South Australia.

Synonyms: Physa cingulata Clessin, 1886; Glyptamoda ellea Iredale, 1943; Glyptamoda aliciae interna Iredale, 1944; Glyptamoda orta Iredale, 1944. 

Biology and ecology

This distinctive species is rather uncommon. It lives on water weeds and wood - often wedged into crevices - in ponds and streams. A somewhat cryptic species. Its biology is unstudied.

Additional information on the biology and ecology of members of this family can be found in Fauna of Australia, vol. 5B, p. 1072-1074.


Queensland to South Australia including Lake Eyre division. Occurence is rather sporadic.


Unlike most species in the genus, this one appears to be relatively clear-cut with its strong spiral cords and shouldered whorls. Nevertheless, it does exhibit variation and the species concept does require verification.

This genus is in need of revision, as the species concepts we have used have not been rigorously tested. Unpublished molecular data indicate that the species units we are here using appear to be justified, however they are not accompanied by clear-cut morphological characters that allow separation based on shell characters alone. As the species units appear to be overall concordant with state boundaries, we have used these boundaries to delimit species. This situation is not ideal, and can only be resolved by additional molecular and morphological studies involving dense sampling.

Further reading

Hubendick, B. (1955). Phylogeny of the Planorbidae. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 28: 453-542.

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. and Kershaw, R. C. (1979). Field guide to the non-marine molluscs of south eastern Australia. Australian National University Press, Canberra, Australia.

Smith, B. J. & Kershaw, R. C. (1981). Tasmanian Land and Freshwater Molluscs. Hobart, University of Tasmania.

Walker, J. C. (1988). Classification of Australian buliniform planorbids (Mollusca: Pulmonata). Records of the Australian Museum 40: 61-89.