Smeagol (gastropod)

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Smeagol sp.png
A photo of Smeagol species
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia

clade Euthyneura
clade Panpulmonata
clade Eupulmonata

Superfamily: Otinoidea
Family: Smeagolidae
Climo, 1980[1]
Genus: Smeagol
Climo, 1980[1]
5 or 6 species

Smeagol is a genus of small air-breathing[2] sea slugs of the upper intertidal zone, pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Otinoidea.

Smeagol is the only genus in the family Smeagolidae. This family has no subfamilies (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005).[3]


The name of the genus is in honour of Tolkien's fictional character Gollum, who was originally known as Sméagol.[1]


There are five described species[4] and potentially one undescribed species from Tasmania[5] in the genus Smeagol:


Smeagol manneringi has no tentacles and is a very active blind animal with a size of up to 10 mm.[1]

Smeagol species have no shell. They have a weakly developed snout.[2] The radula is unicuspid[1] and the radular dentition is of the rhipidoglossate type.[2] They have a radular membrane of flexoglossate type.[2] They have no jaw.[1][2] They have salivary glands with salivary ducts.[2]

The Excretory organs are only the left ones, in the pallial cavity.[2] In the circulatory system the haemolymph circulates as follows: mantlenephridium or nephridia[clarification needed] → heart.[2]

These slugs breathe using a pallial lung.[1] They have a contractile pneumostome.[2]

They have a suprapedal gland.[2]

The number of chromosomes is unknown.[2] They have no sex chromosomes.[2]


These slugs inhabit the upper intertidal zone on gravel substrate in New Zealand and Australia.[1][4]

The development of the veliger is completed in the egg (they do not have a trochophore larval stage).[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Climo F. M. (1980). "Smeagolida, a new order of gymnomorph mollusc from New Zealand based on a new genus and species". New Zealand Journal of Zoology 7: 513-522. Full text on
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Barker G. M. (2001) Gastropods on Land: Phylogeny, Diversity and Adaptive Morphology. 1-146. In: Barker G. M. (ed.) (2001) The biology of terrestrial molluscs. CABI Publishing, Oxon, UK, cited pages: 52, 127-134. ISBN 0-85199-318-4.
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Tillier S. & Ponder, W. F. (1992). "New species of Smeagol from Australia and New Zealand, with discussion of the affinities of the genus (Gastropoda: Pulmonata)". Journal of Molluscan Studies 58(2): 135—155. doi:10.1093/mollus/58.2.135
  5. ^ West R. (February 2009). Proposed determination Smeagol hilaris, a marine slug, as a critically endangered species. Fisheries Scientific Committee, Ref. No. PD43, File No. FSC 09/01, 3 pp., PDF.

Further reading[edit]

  • Haszprunar G. & Huber G. (1990). "On the central nervous system of Smeagolidae and Rhodopidae, two families questionably allied with the Gymnomorpha (Gastropoda: Euthyneura)". Journal of Zoology 220: 185–199. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1990.tb04302.x

External links[edit]