FWGNA > Species Accounts > Planorbidae > Promenetus umbilicatellus
Promenetus umbilicatellus (Cockerell 1887)

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> Habitat & Distribution

The range of P. umbilicatellus extends from Alaska through the prairies of western Canada, south to New Mexico and Oklahoma, and east to western New York (Burch, 1989).  Populations typically inhabit temporary water bodies, shallow margins of permanent bodies, and river pools (Clarke, 1981; Cvancara, 1983; Narr and Krist 2020).

Specific historical records of this species in the Great Plains include Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado (Leonard 1959, Hibbard and Taylor 1960, Taylor 1960, Beetle 1989, Wu 1989). This species was observed during a recent survey in Wyoming (Narr and Krist 2019) but was not found in recent surveys of Colorado (Harrold and Guralnick, 2010).  We are aware of but a single population of P. umbilicatellus in our four-state Great Plains study area, inhabiting a slough in central North Dakota.

> Ecology & Life History

No life history data are available for P. umbilicatellus.  Jokinen’s (1987) analysis of the distribution of the biologically similar Promenetus exacuous in Connecticut and New York led her to classify it as a “C-D tramp,” potentially present in nearly every community.  Dillon’s (2000: 360-363) reanalysis of these data suggested that P. exacuous populations in the region seem to be Undifferentiated with respect to life history adaptation.

Life history studies of Promenetus exacuous populations in the American East suggest a semelparous life history, with two cohorts produced each year (McKillop 1985, Jokinen 1992).  This is life cycle C of Dillon (2000:158).

> Taxonomy & Systematics

This species was originally described from Manitoba by J.W. Taylor (1885) as Planorbis umbilicatus.  Taylor was especially stricken by the “funnel-shaped” shell umbilicus, which distinguished it from the much more common and widespread Gyraulus (Planorbis) parvus. The specific epithet umbilicatus was preoccupied by a European planorbid, however, and so Cockerell (1887) proposed umbilicatellus as a replacement.  Baker (1935, 1945) split P. umbilicatellus and the (eastern) P. exacuous into a new genus Promenetus on the basis of a “well developed” subglobular penial gland.

The classification of the Planorbidae proposed by the tag team of Baker (1945) and Hubendick (1955) remains, after 50 years, the basis for our understanding of this large and diverse family of pulmonates worldwide.   See the essay of 11Apr08 below.

> Supplementary Resources

> Essays

  • See my post to the FWGNA blog of 11Apr08 for a review of the Classification of the Planorbidae.
  • Or view the (Hubendick 1955) classification of North American planorbids in a tabular format [here].

> References

Baker, F. (1928) Freshwater Mollusca of Wisconsin, Part I, Gastropoda. Bull. Wisc. Geol. Natur. Hist. Survey, no. 70.  University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.
Baker, F.C. 1935.
The generic position of Planorbis umbilicatellus with the description of a new group of Planorbidae. Nautilus 49: 46–48.
Baker, F. (1945) The Molluscan Family Planorbidae. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.  
Baker, H. B. (1946) Index to F.C. Baker's "The Molluscan Family Planorbidae." Nautilus, 59, 127-41. 
Burch, J.B. (1989) North American Freshwater Snails. Malacological Publications, Hamburg, Michigan.   
Clarke, A.H. (1979)
Gastropods as indicators of trophic lake stages. Nautilus 93:138-142.  
Clarke, A.H.  (1981)  The Freshwater Molluscs of Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences, National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
Cockerell, T.D.A. 1887. [A letter to the] Editor The Conchologist's Exchange. The Conchologist's Exchange. 2(5): 68.  
Dillon, R.T., Jr. (2000) The Ecology of Freshwater Molluscs. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom. 
Hubendick, B.  (1955)  Phylogeny in the Planorbidae.  Trans. Zool. Soc. London 28: 453-542.  
Jokinen, E.H. (1983) The Freshwater Snails of Connecticut. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection Bulletin 109, Hartford, Connecticut.  
Jokinen, E.H. (1987) Structure of freshwater snail communities: species-area relationships and incidence categories. American Malacological Bulletin 5:9-19.  
Jokinen, E.H. (1992) The Freshwater Snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of New York State. New York State Museum Bulletin 482, Albany, New York. 
McKillop, W.B. (1985) Distribution of aquatic gastropods across the Ordovician dolomite – Precambrian granite contact in southeastern Manitoba, Canada. Canadian Journal of Zoology 63:278-288. 
Narr, C.F. and Krist, A.C. 2019. Improving estimates of richness, habitat associations, and assemblages characteristics of freshwater gastropods. Aquatic Conservation Marine Freshwater Ecosystems 30(1): 1–13.
Stewart, T.W. (2006) The freshwater gastropods of Iowa (1821-1998): species composition, geographic distributions, and conservation concerns. American Malacological Bulletin 21: 59 - 75.
Taylor, J.W. 1885. Description of a new species of Planorbis from Manitoba. Journal of Conchology Vol 4: 351.
Wu, S-K. 1989. Colorado Freshwater Mollusks. Natural History Inventory of Colorado 11: 1 - 117. University of Colorado Museum, Boulder.