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Notopala tricincta (E. A. Smith, 1882)

Diagnostic features

This species is related to N. ampullarioides, although different in its usually taller spire, paler background colour, much more distinct spiral colour bands and prosocline outer lip.


Notopala tricincta (E. A. Smith, 1882)

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Architaenioglossa

Superfamily Viviparioidea

Family Viviparidae

Subfamily: Bellamyinae

Genus Notopala Cotton, 1935

Original name: Vivipara tricincta E. A. Smith, 1882. Smith, E. A. (1882). On the freshwater shells of Australia. Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 16: 255-316.

Type locality: Northern Australia.

State of taxonomy

The taxonomy used here for Viviparidae is largely based on unpublished research by W. Ponder. Several undescribed taxa are known that mainly occur in areas outside the distribution of the species recognised here.

Biology and ecology

This riverine species lives under large rocks in permanent rivers or large streams. Although the biology of this species has not been studied, its anatomy shows that it is at least in part a suspension feeder, using the gill for filtering food from the water like other viviparids, and that it broods its eggs in the pallial oviduct. Its brooded young are produced sequentially.


Coastal rivers in the eastern Northern Territory and north Queensland.


This species was incorrectly treated as a synonym of N. essingtonensiss by Stoddard (1982) and Smith (1992).

Banded species of Notopala occur in several parts of northern Australia and Queensland that are similar to N. essingtonensis, N. tricincta and N. kingi but are thought to be different species (W. Ponder, unpublished studies). These should be identified simply as Notopala sp.

Further reading


Cotton, B. C. (1935a). The Australian viviparous river snails. Victorian Naturalist 52: 96-99.

Cotton, B. C. (1935b). Recent Australian Viviparidae and a fossil species. Records of the South Australian Museum 5: 339-344.

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

Sheldon, F. & Walker, K. F. (1993). Shell variation in Australian Notopala (Gastropoda: Prosobranchia: Viviparidae). Journal of the Malacological Society of Australia 14: 59-71.

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.