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 Major Groups | Gastropoda (snails) | Hygrophila (snails)


Major Group: Gastropoda
Order: Hygrophila (formerly within Basommatophora)

Descriptive Features:

  • operculum absent
  • shell limpet-shaped or coiled and dextral or sinistral and flat to ovate
  • spire sunken, flat or short to long
  • position of eyes relative to tentacles variable, usually at inner side or at centre of bases
  • mantle cavity modified as pulmonary cavity
  • Size:
    • Taxonomic Checklist:



      Distribution: all states

      Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 1 - 4

      Functional Feeding Group: scrapers

      Ecology: Instream habitat: Hygrophila species occur in a wide variety of freshwater habitats from stagnant pools to fast flowing creeks and rivers. They are found amongst macrophytes and algae, in soft sediments or on woody debris.
      Feeding ecology: Hygrophila snails are scrapers feeding on algae, macrophytes and diatoms.
      Habit: Some species are able to aestivate in the mud when conditions become unfavourable.
      Life history: Hygrophila species are hermaphrodites but not all are capable of self-fertilisation. Ancylidae species cannot self-fertilise as the sperm and ovum are kept separately within the body. Hygrophila eggs are usually laid in a gelatinous mass. Young hatch as miniature forms of the adult. They reproduce once or twice per year. The life span is about seven to twelve months.
      Information Sources: Ponder 2001, 2013, Smith 1996, Beesley 2008, various references on family pages
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