FWGNA > Species Accounts > Hydrobiidae > Fontigens bottimeri
Fontigens bottimeri (Walker 1925)

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> Habitat & Distribution

Hershler and his colleagues (1990) gave the distribution of F. bottimeri as "a few localities in Potomac River basin of District of Columbia and Maryland, and Shenandoah River basin of northwestern Virginia.  Found in both caves and small springs."  The only Virginia population documented by Hershler was that of Ogden's Cave in Frederick County.  We are aware of one additional Virginia population, in a small spring run on private property in Frederick county. The USNM also currently holds about 15 records from western Maryland. Fontigens bottimeri demonstrates non-apparent rarity in US Atlantic drainages,  FWGNA incidence rank I-3*.Click to view larger

> Ecology & Life History

I am not aware of any good study on the life history of Fontigens.  But populations typically seem to maintain high densities year round, as though reproduction might be continuous.  The small spring run inhabited by our Virginia F. bottimeri population seemed rather rich and hard.

> Taxonomy & Systematics

Like other members of the hydrobioid subfamily Fontigentinae, F. bottimeri bears a rather striking multiply-ducted penis.  While their species-level taxonomy has been stable since the monograph of Hershler and colleagues (1990), their assignment to the Hydrobiidae (ss) by Wilke et al. (2013) was rather tentative.  The penial morphology of F. bottimeri may be distinguished from that of all other eastern species by the presence of three accessory lobes, rather than two.  Of the nine Fontigens species monographed by Hershler and his colleagues in 1990, this is among the rarest and most obscure.

> Supplementary Resources [PDF]

> Essays

  • Earlier versions of this website, online until August of 2016, adopted the large, broadly-inclusive concept of the Hydrobiidae (sl) following Kabat & Hershler (1993).  More recently the FWGNA project has shifted to the Wilke et al. (2013) classification system, distinguishing a much smaller Hydrobiidae (ss) and elevating many hydrobioid taxa previously ranked as subfamilies to the full family level.  For more details, see The Classification of the Hydrobioids.

> References

Hershler, R., J.R. Holsinger & L. Hubricht (1990) A revision of the North American freshwater snail genus Fontigens (Prosobranchia: Hydrobiidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 509:1-49.
Kabat, A.R., and R. Hershler (1993) The prosobranch snail family Hydrobiidae (Gastropoda: Rissooidea): review of classification and supraspecific taxa. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 547:1-94. 
Stewart, T. W., & R. T. Dillon, Jr.  (2004)  Species composition and geographic distribution of Virginia's freshwater gastropod fauna: A review using historical records.  Am. Malac. Bull. 19: 79-91.
Walker, B.  (1925)  New species of freshwater operculates. Nautilus 39: 5 - 8.
Wilke T., Haase M., Hershler R., Liu H-P., Misof B., Ponder W. (2013)  Pushing short DNA fragments to the limit: Phylogenetic relationships of “hydrobioid” gastropods (Caenogastropoda: Rissooidea).  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66: 715 – 736.