FWGNA > Species Accounts > Hydrobiidae > Fontigens morrisoni
Fontigens morrisoni Hershler et al. 1990

  • click to view larger

> Habitat & Distribution

This small hydrobiid is apparently endemic to Bath and Highland Counties of Virginia.  Hershler and his colleagues (1990) reported Fontigens morrisoni from two springs and two caves in the area, although at least one of the cave localities is obscure.  The cold, rich, hardwater springs at Mustoe seem to support high densities of F. morrisoni, on water cress and organic debris.  But population densities become rapidly attenuated downstream, as though dependent on constant temperature or some other unique aspect of the spring environment.  FWGNA incidence rank I-3*, non-apparently rare.Click to view larger

> Ecology & Life History

I am not aware of any good study on the life history of Fontigens.  But populations typically seem to maintain high densities year round, as though reproduction might be continuous.  The spring runs inhabited by F. morrisoni seem to be rich and stable.

> Taxonomy & Systematics

Hydrobioids of the subfamily Fontigentinae bear a rather striking multiply-lobed penis.  While their species-level taxonomy has been stable since the monograph of Hershler and colleagues (1990), their assignment to the Hydrobiidae (ss) by Wilke et al. (2013) was rather tentative.

> Supplementary Resources [PDF]

> Essays

  • Earlier versions of this website, online until August of 2016, adopted the large, broadly-inclusive concept of the Hydrobiidae (sl) following Kabat & Hershler (1993).  More recently the FWGNA project has shifted to the Wilke et al. (2013) classification system, distinguishing a much smaller Hydrobiidae (ss) and elevating many hydrobioid taxa previously ranked as subfamilies to the full family level.  For more details, see The Classification of the Hydrobioids.

> References

Hershler, R., J.R. Holsinger & L. Hubricht (1990) A revision of the North American freshwater snail genus Fontigens (Prosobranchia: Hydrobiidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 509:1-49.  
Kabat, A.R., and R. Hershler (1993) The prosobranch snail family Hydrobiidae (Gastropoda: Rissooidea): review of classification and supraspecific taxa. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 547:1-94. 
Stewart, T. W., & R. T. Dillon, Jr.  (2004)  Species composition and geographic distribution of Virginia's freshwater gastropod fauna: A review using historical records.  Am. Malac. Bull. 19: 79-91.
Wilke T., Haase M., Hershler R., Liu H-P., Misof B., Ponder W. (2013)  Pushing short DNA fragments to the limit: Phylogenetic relationships of “hydrobioid” gastropods (Caenogastropoda: Rissooidea).  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66: 715 – 736.