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Glyptophysa (Glyptophysa) novaehollandica  (Bowdich, 1822)

Disclaimer

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 Unpublished molecular data indicate that the species units we are here using appear to be justified, however they are not accompanied by clear-cut morphological characters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 aid delimiting species. This situation is not ideal, and can only be resolved by additional molecular and morphological studies involving dense sampling.

Diagnostic features

The taxonomy of Glyptophysa is very poorly understood. This is one of several species of relatively smooth shelled Glyptophysa that are variable in shape and in periostracal development (periostracal hairs and spirals can be present), even within a single population. A large number of species-group names are available and it is quite possible that more species occur in Australia. At present we are recognising only three, in addition to G. aliciae.

This species is one of three that we are somewhat tentatively recognising (see statement under Notes)  that were previsously referred to as Glyptophysa gibbosa (now treated as a synomym of G. novaehollandica)These taxa are in need of revision, as the species concepts we have used have not been rigorously tested.  

Classification

Glyptophysa (Glyptophysa) novaehollandica  (Bowdich, 1822)

Common name: Pouched Snail

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Heterobranchia

Order Hygrophila

Superfamily Planorboidea

Family Planorbidae

Genus Glyptophysa Crosse, 1872

Subgenus Glyptophysa

Original name: Physa novaehollandica Bowdich, 1822 (as Physa n.hollandica). Bowdich, T. E. (1822). Elements of Conchology Pt. 1. Paris.

Type locality: Assumed to be New Holland (= Australia), based on the name.

Synonyms: Physa novaehollandiae Lesson, 1831; Physa novaehollandiae Gray, 1833; Physa ludwigii Küster, 1844; Physa gibbosa Gould, 1846; Physa pectorosa Conrad, 1850;  Physa australiana Conrad, 1850; Physa concinna Adams and Angas, 1864; Physa olivacea Adams and Angas, 1864; Physa badia Adams and Angas, 1864; Physa aciculata Sowerby, 1873;  Physa dispar Sowerby, 1873; Physa pyramidata Sowerby, 1873; Physa tenuistriata Sowerby, 1873;  Physa subundata Sowerby, 1873; Aplexa adamsiana Tapparone-Canefri 1874; Physa duplicata G. B. Sowerby, 1874;  Physa aperta Sowerby, 1874; Physa nitida Sowerby, 1874; Physa attenuata Sowerby, 1874; Physa pinguis Sowerby, 1874; Physa brunniensis Sowerby, 1874; Physa eburnea Sowerby, 1874; Physa mamillata Sowerby, 1874; Physa nitida Sowerby, 1874; Physa texturata Sowerby, 1874; Physa bullata Sowerby, 1874; Physa kershawi Tenison-Woods, 1878; Physa huonensis Tenison-Woods, 1876; Physa legrandi Tenison-Woods, 1876; Physa tasmanica Tenison-Woods, 1876; Physa huonicola Tenison-Woods, 1876; Physa tasmanicola Tenison-Woods, 1876; Physa ciliata Tenison-Woods, 1876; Physa yarraensis Tenison-Woods, 1878; Physa diemenensis Johnston, 1879; Physa fumiformis Nelson and Taylor, 1879; Physa beddomei Nelson and Taylor, 1879;  Physa brisbanica Nelson and Taylor, 1879; Aplexa turrita Tate, 1881; Physa exarata Smith, 1882; Physa gracilenta Smith, 1882;  Physa etheridgei Smith, 1882; Physa queenslandica Smith, 1882; Physa lessoni Smith, 1882; Physa grayi Smith, 1882; Physa smithi Clessin, 1885; Physa kreffti  Clessin, 1886; Physa multispirata Clessin, 1886;  Physa conica Clessin, 1886;  Physa lincolnensis Clessin, 1886; Physa waterhousei Clessin, 1886; Physa producta Smith, 1882; Physa tortuosa Clessin, 1886. Physa arachnoidea Tenison-Woods, 1878; Isidora gibbosa brevispira Odhner, 1917; Bullinus tenuistriatus confluens Hedley, 1917; Amerianna subacuta Cotton and Beasley, 1941; Glyptamoda ellea Iredale, 1943;   Tasmadora sorellensis Cotton, 1943; Glyptamoda orta Iredale, 1944; Lenameria calda  Iredale, 1944; Lenameria digressa  Iredale, 1944; Lenameria epicropa  Iredale, 1944; Lenameria formalis Iredale, 1944; Lenameria placata  Iredale, 1944; Lenameria pretena  Iredale, 1944; Lenameria renola  Iredale, 1943; Mutalena modica Iredale, 1944; Mutalena raperta Iredale, 1944.

State of taxonomy

The taxonomy of Glyptophysa is very poorly understood. A large number of species-group names are available and it is quite possible that more species occur in Australia.

This species is one of three that we are somewhat tentatively recognising (see statement under Notes) that were previously referred to as Glyptophysa gibbosa (now treated as a synonym of G. novaehollandica). These taxa are in need of revision, as the species concepts we have used have not been rigorously tested.  

Biology and ecology

On water weeds, wood etc., in ponds, billabongs, swamps and sluggish streams and rivers. Feeds on algae and detritus. Egg mass typically a bean (kidney)-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. 1072-1074.

Distribution

This species, as tentatively recognised, is found in northern, central, eastern and south eastern Australia and Tasmania.

Notes

This species is similar to the common introduced Haitia acuta (Physidae) in that both have similar-shaped, sinistral shells. Glyptophysa can be distinguished by the shell not being completely smooth (as it is in Haitia), Glyptophysa often - but not always - having some periostracal ornament. Haitia has a mottled mantle which can usually be seen through the semi- transparent shell whereas Glyptophysa has a uniformly dark-coloured mantle. The animal of Haitia has digitations (finger-like processes) along the mantle edge against the columella whereas this is smooth in GlyptophysaHaitia lacks a false gill (pseudobranch) which is present in Glyptophysa and all planorbids. The animal of Glyptophysa, if damaged when alive, has red-coloured blood whereas Haitia does not produce coloured blood.

Glyptophysa differs from the otherwise similar genus Isidorella in the penial apparatus having a penial stylet and an accessory flagellum. Isidorella lacks a stylet and an accessory structure but the penis has two lobes.

This species was previously known as Glyptophysa gibbosa, but G. novaehollandica is an earlier name.

Further reading

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

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

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.

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