Molluscan Research Molluscan Research Society
An international journal for all branches of malacology

Reassessment of Australia's oldest freshwater snail, Viviparus (?) albascopularis Etheridge, 1902 (Mollusca : Gastropoda : Viviparidae), from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian, Wallumbilla Formation) of White Cliffs, New South Wales

Benjamin P. Kear, Robert J. Hamilton-Bruce, Brian J. Smith and Karen L. Gowlett-Holmes

Molluscan Research 23(2) 149 - 158
Published: 08 September 2003


Viviparus (?) albascopularis Etheridge, 1902 is Australia's oldest documented fossil freshwater gastropod. The taxon was established on the basis of a single opalised shell from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) marine deposits of the Wallumbilla Formation (Doncaster Member) at White Cliffs, New South Wales. Reassessment indicates that original placement in the caenogastropod family Viviparidae is justified; however, the specimen is reassigned to the endemic Australian genus Notopala Cotton, 1935 on the basis of shell morphology and close morphometric similarity to extant species. Implications for the origins and current distribution of Australian viviparid taxa are discussed.

© CSIRO 2003

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