Galba humilis - (Say, 1822)
Marsh Fossaria
Synonym(s): Fossaria humilis (Say, 1822)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Fossaria humilis (Say, 1822) (TSN 76513)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.111269
Element Code: IMGASL1100
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Snails
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Basommatophora Lymnaeidae Galba
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Concept Reference
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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: Fossaria humilis
Taxonomic Comments: Fossaria Westerlund, 1985 is a junior objective synonym of Galba Schrank, 1903, based on ICZN Opinion 1896 (ICZN 1998). All species previously recognized as Fossaria are now in genus Galba following Johnson et al. (2013). Dillon et al. (2013) follows Hubendick (1951) in placing this species in the genus Lymnaea with Fossaria as a subgenus, as well as listing cyclostoma, dalli, exigua, galbana, modicella, obrussa, parva, peninsulae, rustica, and tazewelliana as junior synonyms of Fossaria humilis based on observational similarity.

Lymnaeids are the most diverse pulmonate group in the northern United States and Canada (Pyron and Brown 2014). Taxonomy is confusing, with redundancies in nomenclature and constant revisions in species definitions (Standley et al. 2013). Burch (1989) recognized 55 species in seven genera, while Hubendick (1951) recognized 13 species and placed them all in the genus Lymnaea. Based on analyses of three species of Galba in Argentina, Standley et al. (2013) cited the need to combine molecular, morphological, and ecological variables to develop a solid taxonomic framework.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 08Mar2015
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 (19Jun2003)
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNR

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Kentucky (SNR), Maine (SNR), Maryland (SNR), Missouri (SNR), Montana (SNR), New Jersey (SNR), New York (S5), North Carolina (SU), Ohio (S5), Pennsylvania (SNR), South Carolina (SU), Virginia (S4)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species is found in Atlantic drainages from Prince Edward Island south to South Carolina (Clarke 1973, Burch 1989, Lepitzki 2013).

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Given the large geographic distribution of this species, it is unlikely that any major threat is impacting its global population. However, some sub-populations may be experiencing localized declines due to habitat loss and degradation.

Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years is unknown.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) This species is found in Atlantic drainages from Prince Edward Island south to South Carolina (Clarke 1973, Burch 1989, Lepitzki 2013).

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 KY, MD, ME, MO, MT, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, VA

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Habitat Comments: This species is often found on mudflats and silt, at water's edge (Harman 1972).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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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
MORE IN BCD EO SPECS NOTES TAB

Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 09Oct2008
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Baker, F.C. 1911. The Lymnaeidae of North and Middle America[,] Recent and fossil. Chicago Academy of Sciences, Special Publication No. 3, i-xvi + 1-539, 58 pls

  • Branson, B.A. and D.L. Batch. 1981. Distributional records for gastropods and sphaeriid clams of the Kentucky and Licking Rivers and Tygarts Creek drainages, Kentucky. Brimleyana, 7: 137-144.

  • Branson, B.A. and D.L. Batch. 1983. Gastropod and Sphaeriacean clam records for streams west of the Kentucky River drainage, Kentucky. Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of Science, 44(1-2): 8-12.

  • Branson, B.A., D.L. Batch, and S.M. Call. 1987. Distribution of aquatic snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda) in Kentucky with notes on fingernail clams (Mollusca: Sphaeriidae: Corbiculidae). Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of Science, 48(3-4): 62-70.

  • Burch, J.B. 1989. North American Freshwater Snails. Malacological Publications: Hamburg, Michigan. 365 pp.

  • Clarke, A. H. 1973. The freshwater molluscs of the Canadian Interior Basin. Malacologia 13(1-2):1-509.

  • Dexter, R.W. 1961. Changes in the gastropod populations in the Salt Fork of the Big Vermilion River in Illinois, 1918-1959. Sterkiana, 3: 15-18.

  • Dillon, R. T., Jr., M. Ashton, M. Kohl, W. Reeves, T. Smith, T. Stewart and B. Watson. 2013. The freshwater gastropods of North America. Online. Available: http://www.fwgna.org.

  • Dillon, R.T., Jr. and T.W. Stewart. 2003. The freshwater gastropods of South Carolina. Created 26 August 2003. Last updated September 2007. Available online: http://www.cofc.edu/~fwgna/FWGSC/index.html.

  • Dillon, R.T., Jr., B.T. Watson, and T.W. Stewart. 2006a. The freshwater gastropods of North Carolina. Created 26 August 2003 by Rob Dillon, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina. Available online: http://www.cofc.edu/~fwgna/FWGNC/index.html. Last updated September 2007.

  • Dillon, R.T., Jr., W.K. Reeves, and T.W. Stewart. 2006b [2007]. The freshwater gastropods of Georgia. Created 26 August 2003. Last updated September 2007. Available online: http://www.cofc.edu/~fwgna/FWGGA/index.html.

  • Harman, W.N. 1972. Benthic substrates: their effect on fresh-water Mollusca. Ecology 53(2):271-277.

  • Hubendick, B. 1951. Recent Lymnaeidae. Their variation, morphology, taxonomy, nomenclature, and distribution. Kunglica Svenska Vetenskapsakademiens Handlingar Series 4, 3(1): 1-223.

  • International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). 1998. Opinion 1896. Galba Schrank, 1803 (Mollusca, Gastropoda): Buccinum truncatulum Müller. 1774 designated as the type species. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 55:123.

  • Johnson, P.D., A.E. Bogan, K.M. Brown, N.M. Burkhead, J.R. Cordeiro, J.T. Garner, P.D. Hartfield, D.A.W. Lepitzki, G.L. Mackie, E. Pip, T.A. Tarpley, J.S. Tiemann, N.V. Whelan, and E.E Strong. 2013. Conservation status of freshwater gastropods of Canada and the United States. Fisheries 38(6):247-282.

  • Lepitzki, D.A.W. 2013. General status of freshwater gastropods of Canada. Spreadsheet and summary report containing a list of Canadian and provincial or territorial draft general status ranks. Prepared for the General Status of Wildlife Species 2015 project, Canadian Wildlife Service, Gatineau, Quebec. Contract no. K2A52-11-0073. 31 March 2013. Spreadsheet + 614 pp.

  • Pyron, M. and K.M. Brown. 2014. Introduction to Mollusca and the Class Gastropoda. Pages 381-506 in J.H. Thorp and D.C. Rogers (eds.), Thorp and Covich's freshwater invertebrates: ecology and general biology, 4th edition, volume 1, Academic Press, San Diego, California.

  • Rosewater, J. 1959. Mollusks of the Salt River, Kentucky. The Nautilus, 73: 57-63.

  • Standley, C. J., Prepelitchi, L., Pietrokovsky, S. M., Issia, L., Stothard, J. R., and Wisnivesky-Colli, C. 2013. Molecular characterization of cryptic and sympatric lymnaeid species from the Galba/Fossaria group in Mendoza Province, Northern Patagonia, Argentina. Parasites & vectors 6(1): 304.

  • 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.

  • Wood, D.H. 1982a. Aquatic Snails (Gastropoda) of the Savannah River Plant, Aiken, South Carolina. SRO-NERP-10 Savannah River Ecology Lab, Athens, Georgia. 46 pp.

  • Wu, S.-K., R.D. Oesch, and M.E. Gordon. 1997. Missouri Aquatic Snails. Natural History Series, No. 5. Missouri Department of Conservation: Jefferson, Missouri. 97 pp.

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