Campeloma decisum - (Say, 1817)
Pointed Campeloma
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Campeloma decisum (Say, 1817) (TSN 70312)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.108252
Element Code: IMGASE6040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Snails
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Architaenioglossa Viviparidae Campeloma
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Turgeon, D.D., J.F. Quinn, Jr., A.E. Bogan, E.V. Coan, F.G. Hochberg, W.G. Lyons, P.M. Mikkelsen, R.J. Neves, C.F.E. Roper, G. Rosenberg, B. Roth, A. Scheltema, F.G. Thompson, M. Vecchione, and J.D. Williams. 1998. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks. 2nd Edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 26, Bethesda, Maryland: 526 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B98TUR01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Campeloma decisum
Taxonomic Comments: This probably represents more than one species. Specimens of actual Campeloma decisum from the east coastal drainage do not resemble specimens from the Interior Basin, which may be Campeloma integrum. The populations in Arkansas may be an undescribed species (Mark Gordon, pers. comm., 1993). Dillon et al. (2006) believe Campeloma regulare, Campeloma geniculatum, and Campeloma limum are synonymous with Campeloma decisum because there appear to be no reliable distinguishable morphological characters between them. In the case of southeastern U.S. Campeloma species, parthenogenesis appears to have originated spontaneously from sexual ancestors rather than by interspecific hybridization (Johnson and Leefe, 1999). These parthogens originated recently from sexuals (Atlantic coastal Campeloma limum or Campeloma floridence) and dispersed into new isolated river drainages (Gulf Coast and Florida panhandle), possibly during the Pleistocene glacial periods. Different species of Campeloma evolved in this region and some are parthenogenic (Campeloma decisum in part, Campeloma parthenum, Campeloma limum in part) and some sexual (Campeloma decisum in part, Campeloma geniculum, Campeloma floridense, Campeloma limum in part) (Johnson and Bragg, 1999; Johnson, 2000).
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 05Mar2015
Global Status Last Changed: 14Sep1999
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This is a widespread species, with many occurrences and no significant threats at a global level.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (14Sep1999)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (14Sep1999)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S5), Arkansas (SNR), Connecticut (S5), Georgia (SNR), Illinois (SNR), Indiana (S2), Iowa (SNR), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (SNR), Maine (SNR), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (SNR), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (S4?), Pennsylvania (S5), Rhode Island (SNR), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S5?), Texas (SNR), Vermont (SNR), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (SNR), Wisconsin (S4S5)
Canada Manitoba (SNR), New Brunswick (SNR), Nova Scotia (SNR), Ontario (S4), Quebec (SNR)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Burch (1989) lists several species in the Campeloma decisum complex giving a broad distribution for all as eastern North America, from Nova Scotia, southern Ontario and southern Manitoba south to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia, and Virginia.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations). A survey of aquatic snails in the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (Minnesota) in 2004 found this species at 22 out of 66 sampled locations. The sampled locations included a wide variety of habitats and a diversity of substrates (Malizio et al. 2004). Martin (1999) noted that is it found in all 16 counties of Maine. Duncan et al. (2011) observed it in northern Virginia. Stephen (2015) notes that it is found in Nebraska.

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: This is a widespread species and the population size is presumed to be large.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: There are no significant threats at a global level, but some local populations have been affected by invasive species. Populations in northern Wisconsin lakes have been impacted by introduced populations of the invasive Rusty Crayfish, Orconectes rusticus (Kreps et al. 2012).  Studies in Douglas Lake,in Michigan showed that Campeloma decisum and Elimia livescens were more frequently colonized by zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) (Fletcher et al. 2012) and that this colonization affects the burrowing capability and growth of C. decisum (Van Appledorn et al. 2007).

Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years is unknown, but is probably stable.

Environmental Specificity: Broad. Generalist or community with all key requirements common.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Burch (1989) lists several species in the Campeloma decisum complex giving a broad distribution for all as eastern North America, from Nova Scotia, southern Ontario and southern Manitoba south to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia, and Virginia.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
Canada MB, NB, NS, ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IN Elkhart (18039), Marshall (18099), St. Joseph (18141), Whitley (18183)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 St. Joseph (04050001)+
05 Eel (05120104)+
07 Kankakee (07120001)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Reproduction Comments: This species has two breeding periods, one in their second and one in their third year (Brown et al. 1989).

It appears parthenogenesis arose spontaneously in Campeloma decisum (and in other species of Campeloma) in the absence of hybridization, followed by strong selection from parasitic castration of males by a digenetic trematode, Leucochloridiomorpha constantiae; as well as by hybridization (Johnson, 1992). For example, independent origins of triploid hybrid parthenogens in the Florida panhandle occurred by hybridization between an Atlantic coastal species (Campeloma limum or Campeloma floridense) and the Florida sexual species (Campeloma geniculum). Allozyme genotypic diversity is similar between these hybrid parthenogens and sexuals (Johnson and Leefe, 1999).

Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Habitat Comments: This species is often found in sand, mud or clay substrates in lakes and slow moving streams (Burch 1989, Burch and Jung 1992). In lakes, it is found in sandy habitats close to shore (Fletcher et al. 2012).
Economic Attributes
Economic Comments: The trematode fluke, Sanguinicola occidentalis, was found in 33% of snails examined from Silver Creek, Michigan in 1999.
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Group Name: Freshwater Snails

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on some evidence of historical or current presence of single or multiple specimens, including live specimens or recently dead shells (i.e., soft tissue still attached without signs of external weathering or staining), at a given location with potentially recurring existence. Weathered shells constitute a historic occurrence. Evidence is derived from reliable published observation or collection data; unpublished, though documented (i.e. government or agency reports, web sites, etc.) observation or collection data; or museum specimen information.
Mapping Guidance: Unlike most freshwater mussels [possibly excepting Uniomerus tetralasmus (Say, 1831) (see Isley, 1914)], some freshwater pulmonates are able to survive in intermittent streams and ponds by settling into sediment on the bottom and aestivating in otherwise dry or frozen conditions. Some species (e.g. Stagnicola spp.) may form a sheet of mucus just within the aperture called an epiphragm that effectively seals the snail from harsh external conditions (Jokinen, 1978; Brown, 1991). For ephemeral or intermittent water species, it may be particularly difficult to define the limits of an occurrence. Movement out of the water for the purposes of aestivation is on the order of cm (Jokinen, 1978), not m or km, so this behavior should not affect separation distance between occurrences. Species that may be found in intermittent waters include: Aplexa elongata, Fossaria bulimoides, F. dalli, F. modicella, F. obrussa, F. parva, Gyraulus circumstriatus, G. crista, G. parvus, Laevapex fuscus, Physa vernalis, Physella gyrina, Planorbella campestris, Planorbula armigera, Stagnicola caperata, S. elodes, S. exilis.
Separation Barriers: Separation barriers are largely based on permanent hydrological discontinuity between water bodies, with distances of 30 meters or greater between maximum high water marks constituting a separation barrier. Additional barriers are chemical and/or physical and include any connecting water body (regardless of size) with one or more of the following on a permanent basis: no dissolved calcium content, acidity greater than pH 5, lack of dissolved oxygen, extremely high salinity such as that found in saline lakes and brine waters, or temperature greater than 45

An additional physical barrier, particularly for flowing water, is presence of upland habitat between water connections. High waterfalls and anthropogenic barriers to water flow such as dams are barriers as they limit movement in an upstream direction.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 2 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: Freshwater cave species (mostly prosobranchs) may occur near entrances to very deep in cave systems with specimens occurring on the undersides of small stones in riffle areas (Hershler et al., 1990). For cave species, separation distance cannot often be determined accurately due to varying degrees of accessibility to occupied cave habitat. In these instances, each cave where an observation or collection was recorded (see Minimum EO Criteria, above) constitutes an element occurrence regardless of separation distance. Multiple caves within a single hydrological cave system are each considered separately. Caves with multiple entrances and passages known to be connected, but with connecting passages too small or unsafe for human entry shall be treated as a single element occurrence when the non-negotiable portion of the cave is thought to be less than approximately 300 m linear length. Species known to occur in caves include: Amnicola cora, Antrobia spp., Antrobis spp., Antroselates spp., Dasyscias spp., Fontigens aldrichi, F. antroecetes, F. bottimeri, F. morrisoni, F. nickliniana, F. orolibas, F. prosperpina, F. tartarea, F. turritella, Holsingeria spp., Phreatodrobia spp., Stygopyrgus spp.
Separation Justification: Freshwater snails have adapted to most North American habitats including permanent standing, intermittent, and flowing waters. As a whole, pulmonates (previously Subclass Pulmonata) are better dispersers than prosobranchs (previously Subclass Prosobranchia). Pulmonates adapt better to changing temperature and oxygen concentration, resist desiccation better (use pulmonary respiration, store excreted nitrogen as urea, aestivate), and have faster crawling rates (including righting response and actual movement rate) than prosobranchs (Brown et al., 1998). Some species are more tolerant to adverse habitat conditions such as high pollution levels (e.g. Physella spp.), high altitude [e.g. Acroloxus coloradensis (Henderson, 1930)], underground cave pools and springs (e.g. Fontigens spp., Phreatodrobia spp.) and hot springs (e.g. Pyrgulopsis spp.).

Precise geographic distribution of many American freshwater snails is not known but presumably reflects past geological, geographic, and climatic change (Smith, 1989). Movements between isolated or inaccessible portions of water bodies is possible but dependent on outside, passive processes (e.g. rafting, periodic flooding, transport by vertebrates, introduction by humans). Long-distance dispersal is generally not considered when assigning separation distances as otherwise impracticably large separation distances would result.

Several factors contribute to limiting freshwater snail distribution but none apply across diverse habitats or taxa. Approximately 95% of all freshwater gastropods are restricted to waters with calcium concentrations greater than 3 mg/liter (Brown, 1991; for exceptions see Jokinen, 1983). Calcium uptake for shell construction requires energy expenditure (active transport) when calcium concentration is low, but is passive at higher concentrations (Greenaway, 1971). Typically, no known biotic or abiotic factors consistently limit the abundance or distribution of freshwater gastropods among sites (DeVries et al., 2003). At specific localities, limiting factors may include hardness, acidity, dissolved oxygen, salinity, high temperature, and food availability as associated with depth (Smith, 1989). Most species and the largest populations occur in hard, alkaline waters with normal range 20-180 ppm (Shoup, 1943; Harman, 1974). Snails are uncommon in habitats with surface acidity greater than pH 5 (see also Jokinen, 1983). Dissolved oxygen limits diversity so severely polluted waters (oxygen consumed by algae blooms) are often devoid of freshwater snails excepting pollution tolerant species. Because pulmonates can utilize atmospheric oxygen, they can exist under anaerobic conditions for longer time periods (Harman and Berg, 1971; Harman, 1974; McMahon, 1983). High salinity is limiting to freshwater gastropods and inland saline lakes generally lack an associated snail fauna. Most species (excepting hot springs species) are intolerant of temperatures greater than 45ºC (McDonald, 1969; van der Schalie and Berry, 1973), a condition rarely occurring naturally. Lower temperatures are less limiting as snails have been found foraging in ice-covered waters (Harman and Berg, 1971; Harman, 1974). Most species live in the shallows, (depths less than 3 m) where food abundance is greatest. As a result, drastic water fluctuations (draw-downs) may cause declines in snail populations (Hunt and Jones, 1972).

Any contiguous, occupied stretch of suitable flowing water habitat 2 km long or greater is considered an element occurrence. Two km was chosen based upon the limited active movement capabilities of most benthic invertebrates and observed home range of freshwater snails (J. Cordeiro, personal observation) as well as the relatively short life span of most species (five years for most stream species and two years for most pond species).

Date: 18Oct2004
Author: Cordeiro, J.
Notes: Prosobranchs: Neritidae: Neritina; Viviparidae: Campeloma, Cipangopaludina, Lioplax, Tulotoma, Viviparus; Ampullariidae: Marisa, Pomacea; Pleuroceridae: Elimia, Goniobasis, Gyrotoma, Io, Juga, Leptoxis, Lithasia, Pleurocera; Thiaridae: Melanoides, Tarebia; Bithyniidae: Bithynia; Hydrobiidae: Amnicola, Antrobia, Antrorbis, Antroselates, Aphaostracon, Balconorbis, Birgella, Cincinnatia, Clappia, Cochliopa, Cochliopina, Colligyrus, Dasyscias, Eremopyrgus, Floridiscrobs, Fluminicola, Fontelicella, Fontigens, Gillia, Heleobops, Holsingeria, Hoyia, Hydrobia, Lepyrium, Littoridina, Littoridinops, Lyogyrus, Notogillia, Onobops, Paludina, Phreatoceras, Phreatodrobia, Potamopyrgus, Pristinicola, Probythinella, Pyrgophorus, Pyrgulopsis, Rhapinema, Somatogyrus, Spilochlamys, Spurwinkia, Stiobia, Stygopyrgus, Taylorconcha, Texadina, Texapyrgu, Tryonia; Assimineidae: Assiminea; Pomatiopsidae: Pomatiopsis, Heterostropha; Valvatidae: Valvata

Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 05Mar2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J. (2008), Ormes, M. (2015)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 13Nov2008
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J.

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