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Neritina  Lamarck, 1816 

Diagnostic features

Shells are cap-shaped, globular, or semiglobose, the spire low to flat, often submerged by last whorl, surface generally smooth, sometimes with spines. Periostracum usually thick or at least well developed. Colour may vary from black to multi-coloured often with distinct and complex colour patterns. Columellar very pronounced, broad and shelf-like, sometimes with wing-like projections, and often brightly coloured; columellar edge smooth or with fine denticulations. There is no umbilicus. The operculum is ‘D’ shaped with a smooth glossy outer surface often spirally patterned, with a prominent internal often bi-lobed elongated peg (apophysis) and a low internal spiral raised area or bulge mid-way.

The cephalic tentacles are narrow with the eye situated on a short stalk next to the outer edge of the tentacle. Snout short and truncated with a scalloped edge. The spermatophores are variable in length, with or without an enclosing envelope or an internal radial thread but never with an external filament. Vaginal duct long and leaves the vagina near the spermatophore sac. Penes are variable but generally an external long curved organ with a prominent lateral or terminal groove, there is never a penis pouch in the male head.


Neritina  Lamarck, 1816 

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Neritimorpha

Superfamily Neritoidea

Family Neritidae

Genus Neritina Rafinesque, 1815

Type species: Nerita pulligera Linnaeus, 1767

Original reference: Rafinesque C.S. [-Schmaltz]. (1815). Analyse de la Nature ou Tableau de l'univers et des corps organisés, pp. 1-224.

Type locality: Indie fluviis (India).

Biology and ecology

Freshwater and brackish water areas. Live on rocks, wood and hard surfaces. Produce low oval cap shaped egg capsules which develop into free swimming veligers.


Indo Pacific, Central America, Caribbean and Atlantic West Africa. In Australia restricted to NE Queensland.


Neritina are often very variable in size and colour pattern (e.g., Neritina variegata).The spires of both species in Australia are usually heavily corroded. Some non-Australian species bear spines.

Further reading

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

Haynes, A. (1988). Notes on the stream neritids (Gastropoda: Prosobranchia) of Oceania. Micronesica 21: 93-102.

Haynes A. (2005). An evaluation of members of the genera Clithon Montfort, 1810 and Neritina Lamarck 1816 (Gastropoda: Neritidae). Molluscan Research 25: 75-84.

Benthem Jutting, W. S. S., van (1956). Systematic studies on the non-marine Mollusca of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. 5: Critical revision of the Javanese freshwater gastropods. Treubia 23: 259-477.

Brandt, R. A. M. (1974). The non-marine aquatic Mollusca of Thailand. Archiv Für Molluskenkunde 105: 1-423.

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.