Biomphalaria pfeifferi

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Biomphalaria pfeifferi
Biomphalaria pfeifferi shell.png
Drawing of apical, apertural and umbilical view of the shell of Biomphalaria pfeifferi.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia
clade Euthyneura
clade Panpulmonata
clade Hygrophila
Superfamily: Planorboidea
Family: Planorbidae
Subfamily: Planorbinae
Tribe: Biomphalariini
Genus: Biomphalaria
Species: B. pfeifferi
Binomial name
Biomphalaria pfeifferi
(Krauss, 1848)[1]

Biomphalaria pfeifferi is a species of air-breathing freshwater snail, an aquatic pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Planorbidae, the ram's horn snails.

This snail is a medically important pest,[2] because of transferring the disease schistosomiasis.


Biomphalaria pfeifferi is an African species. It has recently expanded its native range.[2]

Distribution of Biomphalaria pfeifferi include:

The type locality is Umgani-Valley, Natal, South Africa[1] (in the times of the description it was the British Colony of Natal).


A cladogram showing phylogenic relations of species in the genus Biomphalaria:[4]


Biomphalaria stanleyi

Biomphalaria pfeifferi

Biomphalaria camerunensis

Nilotic species complex

Biomphalaria sudanica

Biomphalaria choanomphala

Biomphalaria alexandrina

Biomphalaria smithi

Biomphalaria glabrata

Biomphalaria straminea complex

Biomphalaria kuhniana

Biomphalaria straminea

Biomphalaria straminea

Biomphalaria intermedia

Biomphalaria amazonica

Biomphalaria sp.

Biomphalaria tenagophila

Biomphalaria occidentalis

Biomphalaria prona

Biomphalaria andecola

Biomphalaria sp. (? Biomphalaria havanensis)

Biomphalaria sp. (? Biomphalaria havanensis)

Biomphalaria temascalensis

Biomphalaria obstructa

Biomphalaria helophila

Biomphalaria peregrina

Biomphalaria schrammi


Biomphalaria pfeifferi can survive up to 16 hours in anaerobic water using lactic acid fermentation.[5]


Parasites of Biomphalaria pfeifferi include the following 11 species found in Tanzania:[6]


The seeds of the tree Balanites aegyptiaca have a molluscicide effect on Biomphalaria pfeifferi.[8]

Substance Route LC50 Reference
Powder of crude kernels of Balanites aegyptiaca immersion(?) 60 ppm [8]
Acetone extract of powder of the kernels of Balanites aegyptiaca immersion(?) 172,40 ppm [8]
Ethanol extract of the powder of kernels of Balanites aegyptiaca immersion(?) 84,15 ppm [8]

Ethanolic extract of the fruits of Dalbergia sissoo (family Leguminosae) exhibited molluscicidal effect against eggs of Biomphalaria pfeifferi.[9]


  1. ^ a b (German) (Latin) Krauss F. (1848). Die Sudafrikanischen Mollusken. Ebnert & Seubert, Stuttgart, 140 pp, 6 plates. page 83, plate 5, figure 7.
  2. ^ a b Pointier, J. P.; Pointier, J. P.; David, P.; Jarne, P. (2005). "Biological invasions: The case of planorbid snails". Journal of Helminthology. 79 (3): 249–256. doi:10.1079/JOH2005292. PMID 16153319. 
  3. ^ (French) Sarr A., Kinzelbach R. & Diouf M. (2011, in press). "Diversité spécifique et écologie des mollusques continenatux de la basse vallée du Ferlo (Sénégal). [Specific diversity and ecology of continental molluscs from the Lower Ferlo Valley (Senegal)]". MalaCo 7: 8 pp. PDF.
  4. ^ Dejong, R. J.; Morgan, J. A.; Paraense, W. L.; Pointier, J. P.; Amarista, M.; Ayeh-Kumi, P. F.; Babiker, A.; Barbosa, C. S.; Brémond, P.; Pedro Canese, A.; De Souza, C. P.; Dominguez, C.; File, S.; Gutierrez, A.; Incani, R. N.; Kawano, T.; Kazibwe, F.; Kpikpi, J.; Lwambo, N. J.; Mimpfoundi, R.; Njiokou, F.; Noël Poda, J.; Sene, M.; Velásquez, L. E.; Yong, M.; Adema, C. M.; Hofkin, B. V.; Mkoji, G. M.; Loker, E. S. (2001). "Evolutionary relationships and biogeography of Biomphalaria (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) with implications regarding its role as host of the human bloodfluke, Schistosoma mansoni". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 18 (12): 2225–2239. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a003769. PMID 11719572. 
  5. ^ Brand, T. V.; Baernstein, H. D.; Mehlman, B. (1950). "Studies on the anaerobic metabolism and the aerobic carbohydrate consumption of some fresh water snails". The Biological bulletin. 98 (3): 266–276. doi:10.2307/1538675. PMID 15420230.  PDF
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Loker, E S.; Moyo, H. G.; Gardner, S. L. (1981). "Trematode-gastropod association in nine non-lacustrine habitats in the Mwanza region of Tanzania". Parasitology. 83: 381–399. doi:10.1017/s0031182000085383. 
  7. ^ Ibikounlé, M; Mouahid, G; Mintsa Nguéma, R; Sakiti, NG; Kindé-Gasard, D; Massougbodji, A; Moné, H (December 2012). "Life-history traits indicate local adaptation of the schistosome parasite, Schistosoma mansoni, to its snail host, Biomphalaria pfeifferi.". Experimental parasitology. 132 (4): 501–7. doi:10.1016/j.exppara.2012.09.020. PMID 23031799. 
  8. ^ a b c d Hamidou T. H., Kabore H., Ouattara O., Ouédraogo S., Guissou I. P. & Sawadogo L. (2002) "Efficacy of Balanites aegyptiaca(L.) DEL Balanitaceae as Anthelminthic and Molluscicid Used by Traditional Healers in Burkina Faso". International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases 2002. page 37. PDF
  9. ^ Adenusi A. A. & Odaibo A. B. (2009). "Effects of varying concentrations of the crude aqueous and ethanolic". African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative medicines 6(2). abstract, PDF.

Further reading[edit]

  • Nguma, J. F.; McCullough, F. S.; Masha, E. (1982). "Elimination of Biomphalaria pfeifferi, Bulinus tropicus and Lymnaea natalensis by the ampullarid snail, Marisa cornuarietis, in a man-made dam in northern Tanzania". Acta tropica. 39 (1): 85–90. PMID 6122367. 
  • Utzinger, J.; Tanner, M. (2000). "Microhabitat preferences of Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis in a natural and a man-made habitat in southeastern Tanzania". Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. 95 (3): 287–294. doi:10.1590/S0074-02762000000300002. PMID 10800185. 
  • Wright C. A. (1963). "The freshwater gastropod mollusca of Angola". Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) 10(8): 447-528. 16 plates. page 455.