Moderately large to large globose to conical smooth or spirally lirate shells with simple, rounded apertures, umbilicate. Fine spiral sculpture, if present, usually granulate. Colour uniform yellow, olive green or brown, sometimes with darker spiral bands above the periphery (never on the base). Operculum concentric, horny.
Head-foot with long tentacles with eyes on short processes at their outer bases; often pigmented with multiple different colours.
Genus Notopala Cotton, 1935
Type species: Paludina hanleyi Frauenfeld, 1862, by original designation
Type locality: Murray River, Australia.
Synonym: Notopalena Iredale, 1943
The taxonomy used here for Viviparidae is largely based on unpublished research by W. Ponder.
On fine sediment, or on and under rocks and logs. Separate sexes, with males possessing a modified right cephalic tentacle as a penis. Females brood embryos in their pallial oviduct, which are released as mobile juveniles. Some species are able to aestivate in mud during dry periods.
Native to Australia. Occurs in northern Australia and throughout Queensland, and extending into the Murray-Darling Basin in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia (see map).
Notopala is similar to some Asian genera, such as Filopaludina Habe and Idiopoma Pilsbry (Stoddard, 1982).
Beesley, P. L., Ross, G. J. B. & Wells, A., Eds. (1998). Mollusca: The Southern Synthesis. Parts A & B. Melbourne, CSIRO Publishing.
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Iredale, T. (1943). A basic list of the fresh water Mollusca of Australia. Australian Zoologist 10: 188-230.
Martens, E. C. von (1865). On the Australian species of Paludina. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History series 3 16: 255-256.
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Prashard, B. 1928. Recent and fossil Viviparidae. A study in distribution, evolution and palaeogeography. Memoirs of the Indian Museum 8: 153-251.
Sheldon, F. & Walker, K. F. (1993). Shell variation in Australian Notopala (Gastropoda: Prosobranchia: Viviparidae). Journal of the Malacological Society of Australia 14: 59-71.
Simone, L. R. L. (2004). Comparative morphology and phylogeny of representatives of the superfamilies of architaenioglossans and the Annulariidae (Mollusca, Caenogastropoda). Arquivos do Museu National 62: 387-504.
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.
Stoddart, J. A. (1982). Western Australian viviparids (Prosobranchia: Mollusca). Journal of the Malacological Society of Australia 5: 167-173.