FWGNA Information Resources

I. Reminder

Science advances.  Charles Darwin's (1859) On the Origin of Species was one of the greatest scientific achievements the world has ever known.  It is also utterly obsolete today.  That does not mean that we ought to throw Darwin's work into the trash can.  It means that we must read it in the context of subsequent scientific advance.

Similarly.  Many of the scientific works listed in the present bibliography of freshwater gastropod research are quite old.  Some predate the modern synthesis.  That does not mean that they have no value; it only means that they must be contextualized.  The older the work, the more a user must understand about what has come after.

II. Bibliographies

Bibliography for the Identification of North American Freshwater Snails
.  This is Rob Dillon's compilation of guidebooks, keys, monographs, systematic reviews, regional surveys, checklists, and any other published reference material potentially useful for identifying our freshwater gastropod fauna, 1900 - present.  It is available in three forms: Please email Rob Dillon (dillonr@fwgna.org) with any additions or corrections you might wish to contribute to this bibliography.

Freshwater Mollusk Bibliography Online.  A searchable database including over 25,000 references on freshwater mollusks worldwide.  This marvelous resource is a collaborative effort by Kevin Cummings (Illinois Natural History Survey), Art Bogan (North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences), Tom Watters (the Ohio State University Museum of Biological Diversity) and Christine Mayer (Illinois Natural History Survey).  Funded by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

III. Reference Works, on-line and downloadable

Burch, J.B. (1982)  Freshwater Snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of North America.  US Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati.  This is Burch's landmark work in its original (294 page) form [PDF 7.0 MB].

Burch, J.B. (1989)  North American Freshwater Snails: Introduction, systematics, nomenclature, identification, morphology, habitats, distribution.  This is the first section of Burch's landmark work, as reprinted in Walkerana 2(6): 1-80.  Downloadable from the FMCS site here: [PDF 23.9MB].

Burch, J.B. & J.L. Tottenham (1980)  North American Freshwater Snails: Species list, ranges and illustrations.  This is the second section of Burch's landmark work, as reprinted in Walkerana 1(3): 81-215.  Downloadable from the FMCS site here: [PDF 39.8MB]

Burch, J.B. (1982) North American Freshwater Snails: Identification Keys, Generic Synonymy, Supplemental Notes, Glossary, References, Index.  This is the third (and final) section of Burch's landmark work, as reprinted in Walkerana 1(4):216-364.  Downloadable from the FMCS site here: [PDF 47.3MB].

Harrold, M. N. & R. P. Guralnick (2010)  A Field Guide to the Freshwater Mollusks of Colorado, Second Edition.  Colorado Division of Wildlife, Denver.  132 pp. [PDF 2.6MB].  For a review see FWGNA blog of [26Nov08].

Kohl, M.  Freshwater Molluscan Shells.  This popular site, aimed at the amatuer community, is maintained by our colleage Martin Kohl.  The section on "gastropoda (snails)" is charming [html].

Lysne, S. (2009)  A Guide to Southern Idaho's Freshwater Mollusks.  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Idaho Office.  43 pp.  [PDF 9.5MB].

Perez, K.E. & G. Sandland  Key to Wisconsin Freshwater Snails.  Based on previous key by J. B. Burch (1980), following the taxonomy of Turgeon (1998).  [html]

Thompson, F. G. (1984) The Freshwater Snails of Florida, A Manual for Identification.  This clickable key is based on the 94 page original published by the University Presses of Florida [html].  For a review, see the FWGNA blog of [14Mar17].

Wethington, A. R. (2004)  Family Physidae.  A supplement to the workbook accompanying the FMCS Freshwater Identification Workshop, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa  [PDF 532k].

IV. On-line Collections.

iDigBio - Almost all important freshwater gastropod collections worldwide are searchable simultaneously through the Integrated Digitized Biocollections resource.  My query to the iDigBio database for "Physidae and North America" on 17May19 returned 31,417 hits.  For a review of this remarkable facility, see my blog post of 22May19.

Before you visit a collection, however, it would be wise to check the databases maintained by each museum locally, which tend to be more current. Here are the top ten North American museums, ranked by their North American records of the Physidae:

UMMZ - University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (5,492).
USNM - National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian (5,417).
MCZ - Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard (3,619).
ANSP - The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (3,415).
FMNH - Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago (2,726).
FLMNH - Florida Museum of Natural History (2,083).
INHS - Illinois Natural History Survey (1,717).
CMNH - Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh (1,051). No local search.
NCSM - North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (824).
DMNH - Delaware Museum of Natural History (653). No local search.

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