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Phrantela Iredale, 1943

Diagnostic features

Shell, Pupiform to conic to trochiform, small to medium size for family (between about 1.7 and 7.0 mm in maximum dimension). Periostracum thin to well developed, colourless to dark brown. Teleoconch sculpture usually of faint, prosocline growth lines, weak spiral threads sometimes present; periphery of last whorl usually evenly rounded, sometimes subangled, rarely sharply angled. Aperture ovate, inner lip thin and narrow, columellar swelling typically absent (weakly developed in one taxon). Outer lip thin, slightly opisthocline to prosocline. Umbilicus wide to small, or closed and represented by chink. Operculum oval, thin, transparent pale yellow, simple, with eccentric nucleus. Bursa copulatrix in the female genital system reaches to the posterior pallial wall [or (rarely) almost reaches it or extends into the pallial roof] and has the duct emerging from the ventro-posterior comer. This is one of the main anatomical features that distinguishes this taxon from Beddomeia. The pallial genital ducts in both males and females are thinner in section than in Beddomeia and the female genital opening is typically slit-like, rather than a short, pore-like opening. Generally a posterior pallial tentacle is present.


Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Littorinimorpha 

Superfamily Truncatelloidea

Family Tateidae

Genus Phrantela Iredale, 1943

Type species: Potamopyrgus (?) marginata Petterd, 1889 by original designation.

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

Type locality: A small trickling stream near Heazlewood River, Tasmania.

Biology and ecology

In rivers, streams and seeps, and under small waterfalls. Found on weed along stream edges, on roots and wood, under lichens, sedges and leaves, in moss, under stones or large boulders on sand/gravel base, or in black sticky mud. Egg capsules known from only one unnamed species; small, with single embryo, and covered in coarse sand grains. Development direct.


Western and southern Tasmania.


Recent work by Wilke et al. (2013) revealed that this genus, like Beddomeia and Victodrobia, may not belong to the Tateidae.

Further reading

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

Ponder, W. F., Clark, G. A., Miller, A. C. & Toluzzi, A. (1993). On a major radiation of freshwater snails in Tasmania and eastern Victoria: a preliminary overview of the Beddomeia group (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Hydrobiidae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 7: 501-750.  

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.

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

Wilke, T., Haase, M., Hershler, R., Liu, H.-P., Misof, B. & Ponder, W. (2013). Pushing short DNA fragments to the limit: Phylogenetic relationships of 'hydrobioid' gastropods (Caenogastropoda: Rissooidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66: 715-736.