Pomacea (pomacea) maculata (Perry, 1810)

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The South American ampullarid Pomacea maculata is classified under the canaliculata complex. This is a groups af very closely related species which are very variable in size and appearance.

Shell: The elegant, but large (up to 15 cm / 6 inch hight) of Pomacea maculata has a very smooth surface, without almost no malleation. The colour of the shell is pale olive green with faint dark band, although these can be almost absent as well. In general one can describe this shell as thin and fragile.
Operculum: The operculum is large, and much higher than width and is completely retractabel into the shell opening (aperture).
Body: Pale grey foot, with black pigment on the upper side of the body.
Eggs: The eggs of Pomacea maculata are green and laid in clutches above the waterline on emergent vegetation.

Pomacea maculata
Pomacea maculata.
From George Perry's Conchology, or the Natural History of Shells, 1811.
Note the dark spots at the inside of the shell. Because of these spots, the snail got its name maculata (latin for spotted, stained).
(picture not licenced under creative commons)
Pomacea maculata
Pomacea maculata.
(picture not licenced under creative commons)

 

Name: These snail species has been described by Georges Perry in march 1810. Perry also created the genus Pomacea, and Pomacea maculata was described as type species (see also the 'nomenclature' section).
The inside of the shell, near the shell opening (aperture), is spotted, hence its name maculata or the stained/spotted snail.
Behaviour: Pomacea maculata inhabits deep and still waters, where it hides in thick vegetation. It can be fairly difficult to spo these snails, despite their size.
Distribution: Brasil: Amazon river near Obidos; Peru: Iquitos (Manaron river at Santa Terega), Lapuna (Solimoes river), Napo river near Corocha, Porto Velho (Madeira river).
Looks similar to another member if the canaliculata complex: Pomacea haustrum. However, Pomacea maculata is larger, has a paler colour, the bands are less obvious and the shell is thinner and more fragile.

 

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