Physella acuta

Family

Physidae

Species

Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805)

Common Name

European physa, Left-handed pondsnail, Acute baldder snail, Ashy physa, Lateritic physa, Pewter physa, Tadpole snail, Pewter physa

Description

The European physa has a sinistral (left-handed) shell that is 7-12 mm high and 7-10 mm wide, with 5-6 whorls. This snail has a very large body whorl, relative to the rest of the shell. The height of the body whorl accounts for approximately 75 % of the total height of the shell. The vacant shell has a tan color, but in living specimens the body whorls appears mottled (black and tan spots and blotches). The aperture (mouth) is oval and may have a white rib. The opaque shell has a pointed spire and does not have a rigid structure blocking the opening of the shell (operculum). The body of the animal is blue-grey in color with innumerable dark spots.

Distribution

North America:

  • U.S.: Wyoming

Australasia: Australia, New Zealand

Asia: Hong Kong

Europe: Croatia, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Britain, Ireland

Other: Mediterranean region

Ecology

This species inhabits shallow, warm, standing fresh water in very high densities. It is able to withstand polluted water and is often introduced inadvertently into new habitats by humans. This species is very adaptable and is recorded as a serious pest of both economic plants in greenhouses and filtering vegetation in sewage treatment plants.

Synonyms

  • Haitia acuta
  • Physella heterostropha (Say, 1817)
  • Physa globosa Haldeman, 1841
  • Physella integra (Haldeman, 1841)

References

Albrecht et al. 2009; Anderson 2003; Anderson 2005; Cope and Winterbourn 2004; Semenchenko et al. 2008

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