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Great Lakes Waterlife Photo Gallery
Benthic Invertebrates
Gastropoda - Snails

  

Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteProfile - University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web

Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteProfile - Man and Mollusc - Includes basic introduction to many anatomical terms

The identification of gastropods to family level can be difficult because the families are defined on internal anatomical structures. There are few readily observable characters, other than those of the shell, but shells vary as much within as between families. Adult whole animals can best be identified using a combination of shell and operculum (the valve used to close the shell) plus external body characters. Caution - The operculum is often lost from dead animal shells.
Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteTerminology and Anatomy Diagrams - Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society

Ferissia rivularis
Basommatophora
Ancylidae
(freshwater limpets)

No operculum, mantle serves as a lung. Patelliform with the bluntly rounded apex behind the center
< 10mm. Hermaphroditic.

3 Great Lakes species.

Physellagyrina
Basommatophora
Physidae
(sinistral pond snails)

No operculum, mantle serves as a lung. Smooth sinistral spirals - elliptic to ovate with a very short spire and large aperature. Tentacles long and thin. 5-20mm. Hermaphroditic.

2 Great Lakes species

Lymnea auriculariaBasommatophora
Lymnaeidae
(dextral pond snails)

No operculum, mantle serves as a lung. Spiral, elongate, dextral. Mantle without digitations, tentacles broad, flat, triangular and without a pseudobranch. Hermaphroditic.
13 Great Lakes species.
(1 nonindigenous)

 

Helisoma anceps

Basommatophora
Planorbidae
(wheel snails)

No operculum, mantle serves as a lung. Disc with a sunken spire. Body reddish due to hemoglobin. Tentacles long and thin with a pseudobranch on the left. Hermaphroditic.

7 Great Lakes species

Valvata tricarinata
Heterostropha
Valvatidae
(valve snails)

External gills. Circular and multispiral operculum. Depressed or discoidal dextral shells <7mm. Small radula with few (~7) teeth arranged in transverse series. Hermaphroditic.
4 Great Lakes species
(1 nonindigenous)

Campeloma decisum.  Photo Courtesy of Freshwater Molluscan Shells
Architaenioglossa
Viviparidae
(mystery snails)

Gills. Concentric operculum. Spiral shell dextrally coiled with rounded whorls. >15mm. Small radula with few (~7) teeth arranged in transverse series. Not hermaphroditic - give birth rather than laying eggs.

4 Great Lakes species (3 exotic)

Elimia virginica

Mesogastropoda
(Neotaenioglossa)
Pleuroceridae

Internal gills. Horny, ovate, paucispiral operculum. Shell narrowly to elongate conic. 15-40mm. Small radula with few (~7) teeth arranged in transverse series. Not hermaphroditic.
3 Great Lakes species. (1 nonindigenous)

Potamopyrgus antipodarum
Mesogastropoda
(Neotaenioglossa)
Hydrobiidae

Internal gills. Paucispiral or multispiral operculum with a subcentric nucleus. Small radula with few (~7) teeth arranged in transverse series. Conical shells <10mm. Not hermaphroditic - oviparous or live bearers.
11 Great Lakes species
(2 nonindigenous).

Bithynia tentaculata
Mesogastropoda
(Neotaenioglossa)
Bithyniidae

Not hermaphroditic. Concentric operculum and gills. Small radula with few (~7) teeth arranged in transverse series. Spiral shell <15mm.
1 specie, (not indigenous to the Great Lakes).

 

Stylommatophora
Succineidae

Note: really a terrestrial order.

1 specie listed for Lake Huron wetlands - Oxyloma retusa

 

Photos courtesy of:
Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteFreshwater Molluscan Shells
, Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteUniversity of Michigan Animal Diversity Web, Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteUSGS, Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteMicroscopy UK

Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteGastropod anatomy and taxonomy - Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society

Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteGuide to freshwater snails

 

Species List

Class

  • Order
    • Family
      • Genus
        • Species Reported Locations**

** Reported locations based on a limited literature search. Codes indicate presence reported but absence of a code should not be interpreted as a species absence.

Gastropoda (snails) XWRN12 SM(5spp.)HEO
  • Architaenioglossa
    • Viviparidae
      • Campeloma sp.
        • C. decisum XE
      • Cipangopaludina spp.
        • C. chinensis malleata O (Exotic)
        • C. japonica E (Exotic)
      • Viviparus sp.
        • V. georgianus M (Exotic)
  • Basommatophora
    • Ancylidae XR O
      • Ferrissia spp.
        • F. parallela R
        • F. parallelus X
        • F. rivularis O
      • Laevapex sp. X
        • L. fuscus X
    • Lymnaeidae XWR SMHEO
      • Acella sp. X
        • A. haldemani X
      • Fossaria (Lymnaea) spp. XR S
        • F. dalli X
        • F. decampi S
        • F. humilis WR HEO
        • F. modicella S
        • F. parva XS
      • Lymnaea spp. W SHEO
        • L. caperata W HEO
        • L. stagnalis X
      • Pseudosuccinea sp.
        • P. columella W SHO
      • Radix (Lymnaea)
        • R. auricularia W MO (Exotic)
      • Stagnicola (Lymnaea) sp. W S
        • S. catascopium R O
        • S. elodes X
        • S. exilis X
    • Physidae XWRN1 SHEO
      • Physa spp. W1 SHEO
        • P. heterostropha O
      • Physella spp. RN SEO
        • P. gyrina N O
        • P. gyrina sayi R
    • Planorbidae XWRN SHEO
      • Gyraulus spp. XWRN SHEO
        • G. circumstriatus S
        • G. deflectus XS
        • G. parvus XWRN SHEO
      • Helisoma spp. WRN SHEO
        • H. anceps RN SEO
        • H. trivolvis R
      • Planorbella sp. X
        • P. trivolvis X
      • Planorbula sp. X
        • P. armigera X
      • Promenetus sp.
        • P. exacuous XW H
  • Heterostropha
    • Valvatidae
      • Valvata spp. XWRN1 SMHEO
        • V. lewisi R
        • V. piscinalis EO (Exotic)
        • V. sincera WRN1 SMHEO
        • V. tricarinata WRN SHEO
  • Mesogastropoda (Neotaenioglossa)
    • Bithyniidae
      • Bithynia (Bythinia) sp.
        • B. tentaculata XWN MHEO (Exotic)
    • Hydrobiidae XWRN12 SHEO
      • Amnicola spp. XWRN1 SHEO
        • A. limosa X
      • (Cincinnatia) spp.
        • C. integra W E
        • C. limosa WRN1 SHEO
        • C. walkeri R
      • Gillia sp.
        • G. altilis O (Exotic)
      • Hoyia sp.
        • H. sheldoni M
      • Marstonia spp. 12 SO
        • M. decepta 12 O
        • M. lustrica S
      • Potamopyrgus sp.
        • P. antipodarum S (Exotic)
      • Probythinella
        • P. lacustris (emarginata) XN HO
      • Pyrgulopsis sp. X
        • P. lustricus X
    • Pleuroceridae XWRN HEO
      • Elimia (Goniobasis) sp. X
        • E. livescens WN HEO
        • E. virginica O (Exotic)
      • Pleurocera sp.
        • P. acuta R H
  • Stylommatophora
    • Succineidae
      • Oxyloma sp.
        • O. retusa X

S (Lake Superior) based on:

M (Lake Michigan) based on combination of:

H (Lake Huron) based on:

C (St. Clair - Detroit River Corridor) based on:

E (Lake Erie) based on:

O (Lake Ontario) based on:

X (Great Lakes coastal wetlands) based on:

W (wave zone = 0-2m) based on:

R (rocky habitats) based on: globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteBenthic Community Structure and Composition among rocky habitats in the Great Lakes and Keuka Lake, NY. 1987. Michael H. Winnell and David J. Jude. JGLR 13(1)3-17. and Pothoven et al. In press.

L (littoral) based on: globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteRelationships among zoobenthos, sediments, and organic matter in littoral zones of western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay. 1983. Richard A. Cole and Diana L. Weigmann. JGLR 9(4)568-581.

N (nearshore) based on:

1 = 14-30m based on:

2 = 31-50m based on:Disruption of the benthic community in Lake Ontario. 2003. S.J. Lozano and T.F. Nalepa. in State of Lake Ontario (SOLO) -- Past, Present and Future. M Munawar (ed). Ecovision World Monograph Series. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society. and Pothoven et al. In press.

3 = 51-70m based on:Disruption of the benthic community in Lake Ontario. 2003. S.J. Lozano and T.F. Nalepa. in State of Lake Ontario (SOLO) -- Past, Present and Future. M Munawar (ed). Ecovision World Monograph Series. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society.

4 = 71-90m based on:Disruption of the benthic community in Lake Ontario. 2003. S.J. Lozano and T.F. Nalepa. in State of Lake Ontario (SOLO) -- Past, Present and Future. M Munawar (ed). Ecovision World Monograph Series. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society.

5 = >90m based on:Disruption of the benthic community in Lake Ontario. 2003. S.J. Lozano and T.F. Nalepa. in State of Lake Ontario (SOLO) -- Past, Present and Future. M Munawar (ed). Ecovision World Monograph Series. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society.

 

The following mollusk species of class Gastropoda (snails) are included on the Michigan state list of endangered species:

  • Catinella protracta Franzen A land snail (no common name)
  • Gastrocopta holzingeri (Sterki) Lamda snaggletooth
  • Guppya sterkii (Dall) Sterki’s granule
  • Planorbella multivolvis (Case) [Helisoma multivolvis] Acorn ramshorn
  • Planorbella smithi (F. C. Baker) An aquatic snail (no common name)
  • Stagnicola contracta (Currier) [Lymanaea contracta] Deepwater pondsnail
  • Stagnicola petoskeyensis (Walker) Petoskey pondsnail
  • Vallonia gracilicosta albula Sterki A land snail (no common name)
  • Vertigo hubrichti Pilsbry Hubricht’s vertigo
  • Vertigo modesta modesta (Say) A land snail (no common name)
  • Vertigo modesta parietalis (Ancey) A land snail (no common name)
  • Vertigo morsei Sterki A land snail (no common name)
  • Vertigo nylanderi Sterki Deep-throat vertigo

The following mollusk species of class Gastropoda (snails) are included on the Michigan state list of threatened species:

  • Catinella exile (Leonard) Pleistocene catinella
  • Catinella gelida (F. C. Baker) A land snail (no common name)
  • Euchemotrema hubrichti (Pilsbry) Carinate pillsnail
  • Euconulus alderi (Gray) A land snail (no common name)
  • Fossaria cyclostoma (Walker) Bugle fossaria
  • Hendersonia occulta (Say) Cherrystone drop
  • Mesodon elevatus (Say) Proud globe
  • Pallifera fosteri F. C. Baker Foster mantleslug
  • Physella parkeri (Currier) Broadshoulder physa
  • Vertigo bollesiana (E. S. Morse) Delicate vertigo

 

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