Physa megalochlamys - Taylor, 1988
Cloaked Physa
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Physa megalochlamys Taylor, 1988 (TSN 568090)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.118354
Element Code: IMGASL9060
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Snails
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Basommatophora Physidae Physa
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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: Physa megalochlamys
Taxonomic Comments: This species was previously confused with Physa skinneri (Taylor, 1988). Hebert (1997 in Lepitzki, 1998), using specimens measured by Lepitzki (1998), screened 20 individuals of Physella johnsoni from 5 subpopulations for allozyme variation at 12 loci and found no variation at 4 of the loci with limited variation at the 5th; concluding that "genetic distance analysis confirmed that conspecific populations showed close genetic affinity, while there was marked divergence among the 3 taxa" and that it is very unlikely that P. johnsoni a thermal spring ecotype of P. gyrina. Despite limited polymorphism, marked genetic divergence was apparent among the taxa, and Physa megalochlamys was easily distinguished from Physella johnsoni and Physella gyrina by two diagnostic alleles. Taylor (2003) maintains its validity in the genus Physa.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 16Mar2015
Global Status Last Changed: 08Dec2000
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This species has a fairly wide range, but appears to occur sporadically and its habitat is threatened; better information about its current status, threats and trend is needed.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3 (14Sep1999)
Nation: Canada
National Status: NU (03Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Colorado (SNR), Idaho (S1), Montana (S1), Oregon (S1), Utah (S1?), Washington (SNR), Wyoming (S3)
Canada British Columbia (SU), Manitoba (SU), Saskatchewan (SU)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: DD - Data deficient

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 western North America, from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, British Columbia and Saskatchewan (Taylor 1988); the exact limits of its range are uncertain due to confusion with P. skinneri, both in collections and in the field. Historically, this species probably ranged from southern Canada through the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountain States lying east of the Cascade Mountains as far as western Montana, Utah, and Colorado (Taylor 1988, 2003).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a moderate number of occurrences, although the exact number is difficult to determine because it is often confused with Physa skinneri. Taylor (1988) listed about 16 sites from Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Saskatchewan. Wu and Beetle (1995) list occurrences in Wyoming in Teton Co. In Saskatchewan, it is known from the Frenchman River in the southwestern part of the province (Martel et al. 2010).

Population Size Comments: Total population size is unknown.

Overall Threat Impact: High - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The major threats to species survival are habitat loss and destruction due to modification of marsh land for human activities. Specific threats include draining and dredging, insecticide spraying, nutrient build up due to agricultural runoff, irrigation systems, and encroaching urbanization (Frest and Johannes 1995).

Short-term Trend Comments: Trend is unknown.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: This species apparently survived a fire in Yellowstone National Park (in a lightly burned aspen grove) in 1989, but was gone by 1994 due to further habitat alteration (Beetle 1997).

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 western North America, from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, British Columbia and Saskatchewan (Taylor 1988); the exact limits of its range are uncertain due to confusion with P. skinneri, both in collections and in the field. Historically, this species probably ranged from southern Canada through the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountain States lying east of the Cascade Mountains as far as western Montana, Utah, and Colorado (Taylor 1988, 2003).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CO, ID, MT, OR, UT, WA, WY
Canada BC, MB, SK

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Bannock (16005)*
MT Lake (30047)*
UT Millard (49027)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
16 Hamlin-Snake Valleys (16020301)+*
17 Lower Flathead (17010212)+*, Portneuf (17040208)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A freshwater snail
General Description: See Taylor (1988) for full description.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Physa megalochlamys has two distinctive characters; a large, thin shell and a mantle that is substantially overfolded (Frest and Johannes, 1995).
Ecology Comments: PHYSA MEGALOCHLAMYS forms colonies in the typically muddy conditions found in TYPHA-SCIRPUS marshes (Frest and Johannes, 1995). Taylor (1988) notes that the ponds and/or marshes chosen by this snail can experience seasonal fluctuations up to and including the point of desification.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Estuarine Habitat(s): Herbaceous wetland
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND, TEMPORARY POOL
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Physa megalochlamys is typically found in marshes or ponds such as a lily pond in the case of the type species(Frest and Johannes, 1995; Taylor, 1988). The preferred substrate is characteristically a fine mud type (Frest and Johannes 1995). Taylor (1988) cites it in extensive marshes or ponds, fluctuating or even drying seasonally; as well as a large perennial water body.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Clarify taxonomic status and distribution.
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 45ēC (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: 16Mar2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Ormes, M. (2015), Cordeiro, J. (2011); STEINER, M. (2000)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 25Nov2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J. (2011); STEINER, M. (1996)

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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  • Andersen, M.D. and B. Heidel. 2011. HUC-based species range maps. Prepared by Wyoming Natural Diversity Database for use in the pilot WISDOM application operational from inception to yet-to-be-determined date of update of tool.

  • Beetle, D.E. 1997. Recolonization of burned aspen groves by land snails. Yellowstone Science 5(3):6-8

  • Frest, T. J. and E. J. Johannes. 1995. Interior Columbia Basin mollusk species of special concern. Final report to the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project, Walla Walla, WA. Contract #43-0E00-4-9112. 274 pp. plus appendices.

  • Frest, T.J. and E.J. Johannes. 1995c. Interior Columbia Basin mollusk species of special concern. Final Report (contract #43-0E00-4-9112) prepared for Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project. Deixis Consultants, Seattle, Washington. 274 pp. + tabs., figs.

  • Frest, T.J. and E.J. Johannes. 1997. An overview of Interior Columbia basin mollusk. Deixis Consultants, Seattle, Washington 98115-7125.

  • General Status, Environment Canada. 2015. Manitoba Mollusk species list and subnational ranks proposed by an expert.

  • Lee, J.S. 2000. Freshwater molluscs of British Columbia: assessments for all known or potential taxa. Unpubl. rep. submitted to the BC Conservation Data Centre, Minist. Envrion., Lands and Parks, Victoria, BC. 107pp.

  • Lee, J.S. 2000c. The distribution and ecology of the freshwater molluscs of northern British Columbia. M.Sc Thesis. University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George. 38 pp.

  • Lepitzki, D. 2014. General Status rank assessment of freshwater molluscs of British Columbia. Prepared for Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada. Gatineau, PQ.

  • Lepitzki, D.A.W. 1998. The ecology of Physella johnsoni, the threatened Banff Springs snail. Final report (1997/1998) prepared for Heritage Resource Conservation- Aquatics, Banff National Park, Alberta, 4 July 1998. 146 pp.

  • Lepitzki, D.A.W. 2013. General status of freshwater gastropods of Canada. Spreadsheet and summary report containing a list of and Canadian and provincial or territorial general status ranks. Prepared for the General Status of Wildlife Species 2015 project. 31 March 2013. Spreadsheet + 614 pp.

  • Martel, A.L., Lauriault, J., and Madill, J. 2010. Mollusca (Bivalves and Gastropods). Frenchman River Biodiversity Project. Royal Saskatchewan Museum and Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario. 23 pp.

  • Taylor, D. W. 1988. New species of Physa (Gastropoda: Hygrophila) from the western United States. Malacological Review 21: 43-79.

  • Taylor, D.W. 1988. New species of Physa (Gastropoda: Hygrophila) from the Western United States. Malacological Review, 21(1-2): 43-79.

  • Taylor, D.W. 2003. Introduction to Physidae (Gastropoda: Hygrophiila); biogeography, classification, morphology. Revista de Biologia Tropical (International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation), 51, supplement 1: 1-287.

  • Taylor, Dwight W. 1988. New Species of Physa (Gastropoda: Hygrophila) from the Western United States. Malacological Review 21: 43-79 (Article not seen, citation from Lee 2000. Freshwater molluscs of British Columbia: assessments for all known or potential taxa. Unpubl. rep. submitted to the BC Conservation Data Centre, Minist. Envrion., Lands and Parks, Victoria, BC. 107pp.)

  • 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.

  • Wu, S.-K. and D.E. Beetle. 1995. Wyoming Physidae (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Hygrophila). Malacological Review, 28(1-2): 81-95.

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