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Suterilla fluviatilis Fukuda, Ponder & Marshall, 2006

Diagnostic features

Shell globose to ovate-conic, up to 1.9 mm in length and 2 mm in width, thick, opaque, uniformly yellow-brown (white in some specimens); with narrow, open umbilicus. Teleoconch whorls convex, suture distinctly impressed; spire about equal to aperture in length; whorls smooth except for fine growth lines, fine spiral striae present or absent; aperture with thin outer lip and thick, wide columellar lip, inner lip thin across parietal area; aperture not extending across umbilicus; no varix. Operculum simple, pyriformpaucispiral, horny, translucent, yellowish.

Head with short, narrow, cephalic tentacles approximately equal to half width of head; eyes situated near central part of bases of cephalic tentacles. short, broad, strongly indented at middle portion of anterior edge; distinct transverse crease at posterior end of snout and confluent with anterior edges of tentacle bases. Omniphoric grooves distinct. Anterior pedal mucous gland along entire edge of foot, as many small, slender cells opening beneath inconspicuous propodial flap. Sole slender, flat, smooth when foot extended. Mantle cavity with only two rudimentary gill filaments.

The main differences between S. fluviatilis and other species of Suterilla are anatomical and include the S-shaped rectum, lack of a flange on the penis, the albumen gland being markedly shorter than the capsule gland, a large bursa copulatrix (also in S. neozelanica) and a wide, folded bursal duct that enters the bursa mid anteriorly.


Suterilla fluviatilis Fukuda, Ponder & Marshall, 2006

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Littorinimorpha 

Superfamily Truncatelloidea

Family Assimineidae

Subfamily: Omphalotropidinae

Genus Suterilla Thiele, 1927

Original name: Suterilla fluviatilis Fukuda, Ponder & Marshall, 2006. Fukuda, H., Ponder, W. F., and Marshall, B. 2006. Anatomy and relationships of Suterilla Thiele (Caenogastropoda: Assimineidae) with descriptions of four new species Molluscan Research 26(3): 141-168.

Type locality: Cascade Point, Broken Bridge Creek, Norfolk Island.

Biology and ecology

Lives amphibiously on and under bryophytes on a wet rock face next to a small waterfall.


This species is known only from a single stream on Norfolk Island, where it is found on bryophytes on wet rock next to a small waterfall near the coast.


This is the only species of Suterilla known to live in a freshwater habitat.

Further reading

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

Fukuda, H. & Ponder, W. F. (2003). Australian freshwater assimineids, with a synopsis of the Recent genus-group taxa of the Assimineidae (Mollusca: Caenogastropoda: Rissooidea). Journal of Natural History 37: 1977-2032.

Fukuda, H., Ponder, W. F. & Marshall, B. A. (2006). Anatomy and relationships of Suterilla Thiele (Caenogastropoda: Assimineidae) with descriptions of four new species. Molluscan Research 26: 141-168.