Anatomy of Afropomus balanoideus (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Ampullariidae) and its implications for phylogeny and ecology

Research paper by Thomas Berthold

Indexed on: 01 Sep '88Published on: 01 Sep '88Published in: Zoomorphology


The hitherto unknown anatomy of Afropomus balanoideus is described. Its systematic position within the Ampullariidae is indicated by the possession of the following autapomorphic characters of the Ampullariidae: presence of a lung sac, an ampulla-shaped aorta anterior, a bipartite copulatory organ of pallial origin, a left-sided zygoneur nervous system, a bipartite kidney, a lamellate osphradium, labial tentacles, an ingestion and an egestion sipho and a radula with strong teeth. The pallial vas deferens is completely closed, while the pallial oviduct is anatomically open in its distal part but functionally closed, because it is embedded in the surrounding mantle tissue. The copulatory organ is of pallial origin and innervated by the right pleural ganglion. The plesiomorphic states of some characters indicate that Afropomus balanoideus might represent the adelphotaxon of the remaining Ampullariidae. The morphological structures show that this species is adapted to an amphibious mode of life and to aestivation, as has been shown for other species of Ampullariidae.