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Temporal range: Paleogene - recent
Pachychilus laevisimus 004.JPG
Two shells of Pachychilus laevisimus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda

clade Sorbeoconcha

Superfamily: Cerithioidea
Family: Pachychilidae
P. Fischer & Crosse, 1892[1]
191-226 extant species
  • Brotiinae Golikov & Starobogatov, 1987[4]
  • Fauninae Cossmann, 1909[5]
  • Melanatriinae Thiele, 1921[6]
  • Potadomatinae Pilsbry & Bequaert, 1927[7]

Pachychilidae, common name pachychilids, is a taxonomic family of freshwater snails, gastropod molluscs in the clade Sorbeoconcha.[8]


The global distribution of the family Pachychilidae

Pachychilids are freshwater snails with a worldwide distribution in the tropics. Representatives are found in South and Central America, Africa, Madagascar, South and South-east Asia and tropical Australia (Queensland: Torres Strait Islands).


Pachychilids have an operculum, which is concentric and multispiral.


All species in the family inhabit freshwater except Faunus ater, which is a brackish water snail found in estuaries and other coastal habitats. Pachychilids are either oviparous (lay eggs), ovoviviparous or viviparous (retain developing eggs and youngs in special incubatory structures).

Notes on the taxonomy[edit]

The name is derived from a combination of the words 'pachy' (Greek = thick) and the suffix '-chilus' (Greek = Lip), meaning 'thick lipped' - with respect to the thickened aperture of the shell in some species. Most 20th-century authors did not recognize Pachychilidae as an independent family, but affiliated species under different groups, such as Thiaridae and Pleuroceridae. However, recent revisions based on molecular and morphological evidence have proven their independent and distinct status from the former. This family has no subfamilies (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005).[9]


Shells of various pachychilid species

Genera within the family Pachychilidae include:

Genera brought into synonymy
  • Acrostoma Brot, 1871: synonym of Paracrostoma Cossmann, 1900
  • Antimelania P. Fischer & Crosse, 1892: synonym of Brotia H. Adams, 1866
  • Brotella Rovereto, 1899: synonym of Paracrostoma Cossmann, 1900
  • Fauninae Cossmann, 1909 (subfamily) : synonym of Pachychilidae P. Fischer & Crosse, 1892
  • Melanatria Bowdich, 1822: synonym of Faunus Montfort, 1810
  • Oxymelania Crosse & P. Fischer, 1892: synonym of Pachychilus I. Lea & H. C. Lea, 1851
  • Pirena Lamarck, 1822: synonym of Faunus Montfort, 1810
  • Sphaeromelania Rovereto, 1899: synonym of Pachychilus I. Lea & H. C. Lea, 1851
  • Wanga Chen, 1943: synonym of Brotia H. Adams, 1866


A cladogram based on sequences of mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA sequences showing phylogenic relations of Pachychilidae:[12]


Faunus ater

Potadoma freethi

Doryssa consolidata

Sulcospira hainanensis

Sulcospira testudinaria

Sulcospira housei


Brotia pagodula

Brotia sumatrensis


Paracrostoma martini

Paracrostoma tigrina


Pseudopotamis supralirata

Pseudopotamis semoni


Tylomelania perfecta

Tylomelania neritiformis


Jagora dactylus

Jagora asperata


Pachychilus indiorum

Pachychilus conicus


Madagasikara madagascariensis

Madagasikara spinosa

Madagasikara zazavavindrano

Madagasikara vazimba

Madagasikara vivipara


  1. ^ Fischer P. & Crosse H. (19 November 1892). "Mission scientifique au Mexique et dans l'Amérique Centrale". Recherches zoologiques, Partie 7, 2(13): 313.
  2. ^ Strong E. E., Gargominy O., Ponder W. F. & Bouchet P. (2008). "Global Diversity of Gastropods (Gastropoda; Mollusca) in Freshwater". Hydrobiologia 595: 149-166. doi:10.1007/s10750-007-9012-6.
  3. ^ Strong E. E., Colgan D. J., Healy J. M., Lydeard C., Ponder W. F. & Glaubrecht M. (2011). "Phylogeny of the gastropod superfamily Cerithioidea using morphology and molecules". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 162(1): 43-89. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2010.00670.x.
  4. ^ Golikov & Starobogatov (1987). Vsesoiuznoe soveshchanie po izucheniiu molliuskov 8: 25.
  5. ^ Cossmann (1909). Essais de paléoconchologie comparrée 8: 156.
  6. ^ Thiele (1921). Archiv für molluskenkunde 53(3): 142.
  7. ^ Pilsbry H. A. & Bequaert J. (1927). "The Aquatic Mollusks of the Belgian Congo. With a geographical and ecological account of Congo malacology". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 53(2): 69-602. pages 248 and 272. PDF.
  8. ^ Gofas, S. (2014). Pachychilidae. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2014-11-20
  9. ^ a b c d e Bouchet P.; Rocroi J.-P.; Frýda J.; Hausdorf B.; Ponder W.; Valdés Á. & Warén A. (2005). "Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families". Malacologia: International Journal of Malacology. Hackenheim, Germany: ConchBooks. 47 (1-2): 1–397. ISBN 3-925919-72-4. ISSN 0076-2997. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Gofas, S. (2015). Pachychilidae P. Fischer & Crosse, 1892. In: MolluscaBase (2015). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2015-10-09
  11. ^ Köhler F. & Glaubrecht M. (2006). "A systematic revision of the Southeast Asian freshwater gastropod Brotia (Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae)." Malacologia 48: 159-251.
  12. ^ a b c Köhler F. & Glaubrecht M. (2010). "Uncovering an overlooked radiation: molecular phylogeny and biogeography of Madagascar’s endemic river snails (Caenogastropoda: Pachychilidae: Madagasikara gen. nov.). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 99: 867-894. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2009.01390.x.
  13. ^ Lok A. F. S. L., Ang W. F., Ng P. X., Ng B. Y. Q. & Tan S. K. (2011). "Status and distribution of Faunus ater (Linnaeus, 1758) (Mollusca: Cerithioidea) in Singapore". Nature in Singapore 4: 115-121. PDF.
  14. ^ Köhler F. & Glaubrecht M. (2003). "Morphology, reproductive biology and molecular genetics of ovoviviparous freshwater gastropods (Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae) from the Philippines, with description of the new genus Jagora". Zoologica Scripta 32(1): 35-59. doi:10.1046/j.1463-6409.2003.00100.x.
  15. ^ Köhler F. & Glaubrecht M. (2007). "Out of Asia and into India - On the molecular phylogeny and biogeography of the endemic freshwater gastropod Paracrostoma Cossmann, 1900 (Caenogastropoda: Pachychilidae)." Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 91: 627-651. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2007.00866.x.
  16. ^ Glaubrecht M. & von Rintelen T. (2003). "Systematics, molecular genetics and historical zoogeography of the viviparous freshwater gastropod Pseudopotamis (Cerithioidea, Pachychilidae): a relic on the Torres Strait Islands, Australia". Zoologica Scripta 32(5): 415-435. doi:10.1046/j.1463-6409.2003.00127.x.
  17. ^ Köhler F. & Dames C. (2009). "Phylogeny and systematics of the Pachychilidae of mainland Southeast Asia – novel insights from morphology and mitochondrial DNA (Mollusca, Caenogastropoda, Cerithioidea)". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 157: 679-699. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2009.00541.x.
  18. ^ von Rintelen T. & Glaubrecht M. (2005). "Anatomy of an adaptive radiation: a unique reproductive strategy in the endemic freshwater gastropod Tylomelania (Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae) on Sulawesi, Indonesia and its biogeographical implications." Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 85: 513–542. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2005.00515.x.

Further reading[edit]

  • Köhler F., von Rintelen T., Meyer A. & Glaubrecht M. (2004). "Multiple origin of viviparity in southeast Asian gastropods (Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae) and its evolutionary implications". Evolution 58(10): 2215-2226. doi:10.1554/04-344.

External links[edit]