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 Major Groups | Gastropoda (snails) | Hypsogastropoda (snails) | Tateidae


Major Group: Gastropoda
Order: Neotaenioglossa
Tateidae (formerly Hydrobiidae)

Descriptive Features:

  • shells coiled (almost always dextral)
  • radula with 7 teeth in each row (central, and a pair of marginal and lateral teeth - taenioglossan condition)
  • eyes located on outer side (usually at base) of tentacles
  • sexes typically separate, rarely protandric hermaphrodites
  • eyes typically on bulges at outer sides of tentacle bases
  • also distinguished by ultra structural differences in the osphradium, sperm etc
  • shells small, coiled, dextral, typically conical (but can be flattened to elongate)
  • aperture lacks an anterior channel
  • penis typically attached to right side of head behind right tentacle (sometimes almost central on head)
  • shell conical to flattened or elongate
  • Size:  

    Potamopyrgus antipodarum

    Taxonomic Checklist: Genera
    Ascorhis (estuarine)
    Caudicochlea (artesian springs)
    Edgbastonia alanwillsi Ponder et al. (artesian springs)
    Fonscochlea (artesian springs)
    Potamopyrgus antipodarum Gray (introduced from New Zealand)
    ‘Potamopyrgus’ (waterfalls)
    Pseudotricula (caves)
    Tatea (estuarine)
    Trochidrobia (artesian springs)
    New genus (currently Hemistomia)

    Distribution: all states

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 4

    Functional Feeding Group: scrapers


    Huon River, Tahune Tas

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Hydrobiidae species occur in many freshwater and estuarine habitats, from small, fast flowing alpine streams to isolated arid zone springs and splash zones of tropical waterfalls. They are found under or on rocks, under tree roots and amongst vegetation or detritus. The introduced species, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, thrives in nutrient rich urban and rural streams.
    Feeding ecology: Freshwater Hydrobiidae species feed mainly on Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and other bacteria.
    Habit: Most hydrobiid snails are poor dispersers, relying on passive agents such as birds. Consequently many species are listed as threatened or endangered and an individual species can have a very small distribution, sometimes being confined to a single spring, stream or lake.
    Life history: Typically the sexes of Hydrobiidae species are separate and egg capsules are laid, except for Potamopyrgus antipodarum, which is a parthenogenic brooder and a very successful coloniser. Hydrobiid females lay small bundles of eggs, sometimes in mucus and sand grain capsules. Capsules are laid throughout the year. Adult size is reached only three to four months after hatching but may take up to one year when the temperature is low, e.g. highland areas. Development, growth rate and egg production increase with rising temperature so hydrobiid snails live longer at low temperatures. Reproduction by Potamopyrgus antipodarum is seasonal, with the fecundity of individual females peaking in the spring.


    Information Sources: Ponder 1997, 2001, 2013, Smith 1992, 1996, 2002e, Ponder et al. 1993, 1994, 1996, 2008, Ponder & Miller 1999, Miller et al. 1999, Gooderham & Tsyrlin 2002, Clark et al. 2003, Schreiber et al. 1998
    Key to Genera: Smith & Kershaw 1979 (SE Aus), Ponder et al 2000 (NSW)
    Key to Species: Ponder et al 2000 (NSW)