Sinistral Applesnails (Ampullariidae)
By Harry G. Lee
The Applesnail guru, E. G. Alderson (1925), noted the reversal of
the Applesnail images in the 18th century works of Seba and Rumphius
and wrote: "We may remark that the sinistral shell thus artificially
produced by these ancient authors is perhaps rarer in this genus
than in any other." That perception notwithstanding, eleven species
ampulariids, from four continents, have been reported in the
Pila ampullacea (Linnaeus, 1758) [Asia] Nevill, 1877;
Dharma, 2005: pl. 15; also shown here (several others noted
in the marketplace recently).
Pila carinata (Swainson, 1821) [Asia] Nevill, 1886.
Pila conica (Wood, 1818) [Asia] Letson, 1897.
Pila globosa (Swainson, 1821) [Asia];
shown here and here
(several others noted in the marketplace recently).
Pila pesmei (Morelet, 1889) [Asia] Cazzaniga and Estebenet, 1990
Pila polita (Deshayes, 1830) [Asia] Nevill, 1877; East Jawa
(Dharma, 2005: pl. 15);
Pila scutulata (Mousson, 1848) [Asia] East Jawa (Dharma,
2005: pl. 15).
Pila wernei (Philippi, 1851) [Africa] Darteville, 1953 (as
Pila wernei dewulfi Bequaert and Clench, 1933)
Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck, 1822) [South America]
Cazzaniga and Estebenet, 1990; widely introduced elsewhere including
Jawa (Dharma, 2005:
pl. 15) and Vietnam, as
Pomacea paludosa (Say, 1829) [North America] Emery, 1943; V.
Vail, pers. comm., 1978.
Pomacea urceus (Müller, 1774) [South America] Burky, 1974
I know of no reported observation of the soft parts of an
abnormally-reversed coiled ampulariid except for Cazzaniga and
Estebenet (1990), who indicated that the animal of their Pomacea
canaliculata was sinistral and that its operculum was a mirror
image of a normal one.
Alderson, E.G., 1925. Studies in Ampullaria. W. Heffer and
Sons, Cambridge. xx + 1-102 + 19 pls.
Burky, A.J., 1974. Growth and biomass production of an amphibious
snail, Pomacea urceus (Müller), from the Venezuela savanna.
Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London 41:
Cazzaniga, N.J. and A.L. Estebenet, 1990. A sinistral Pomacea
canaliculata (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae). Malacological
Review 23: 99-102.
Darteville, E., 1953. A sinistral Pila from Africa.
Journal of Conchology 23(9): 288-289, pl. 8.
Dharma, B., 2005. Recent and fossil Indonesian Shells.
Conchbooks, Hackenheim, Germany. pp. 1-424, incl. 150 pls.
Emery, D.L., 1943. Sinistral Pomacea. The Nautilus 57(2): 66.
Letson, J.E., 1897. Sinistral Ampullaria. The Nautilus 11(3):
Nevill, G. 1877. Catalogue of the Mollusca in the Indian Museum,
Calcutta Fasciculus E. Indian Museum, Calcutta. [iv] + 1-42.
Nevill, G., 1886. Hand List of Mollusca in the Indian Museum,
Calcutta, pt. 2. Indian Museum, Calcutta. ix + 1-306.