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Aquatic Invertebrates


Aquatic Snails

mud amnicola (Amnicola limosa).
Mud amnicola, Amnicola limosa.

Class: Gastropoda - Gastropods, Slugs, Snails
Subclass: Prosobranchia - Prosobranchs
Order: Neotaenioglossa - Neotaenioglossids
Family: Hydrobiidae - Hydrobiids

Characteristics of the family:
Snails in this family are prosobranchic, which means they breathe through gills. Their small shells have an aperture on the right-hand side, when looking directly at the opening. The word for this is dextral. The family is found worldwide in marine, brackish and fresh water.

Representative species: Mud amnicola, Amnicola limosa
Description Small brown shell with a blunt spire and 4½ convex, slightly shouldered whorls. Body has 2 long tentacles with eyes at their base.
Size Shell 4.5 mm length and 3 mm width.
Distribution South of the treeline, west from Newfoundland to northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Habitat Occurs in all kinds of unpolluted permanent water habitats where aquatic vegetation grows.
Food The mud amnicola uses a strap-like toothed tongue called a radula to scrape algae and diatoms from substrates.
Life cycle Females lay eggs in the spring. The early developmental stages occur within the egg mass. Young snails emerge with the basic morphological features of adults. They live for approximately one year.


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A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Ed Hendrycks