Pleurocera acuta



Pleurocera acuta is a freshwater snail that lives in the lakes and streams of the Midwest United States (Benson, 2011; NatureServe, 2011). Specifically they are found in the Ohio River, Great Lakes drainages, and part of the northwestern Mississippi drainages from Kansas to Nebraska (Benson, 2011; NatureServe, 2011).  There are cases where Pleurocera acuta has been found as east as the St. Lawrence drainage in Lake Champlain Vermont or as north as Bayfield Wisconsin (Goodrich, 1939).   

According to a study done by B.C. Dazo in which a habitat was cultivated, these snails prefer a stream with fairly constant water currents to keep the water clean and oxygen levels fair (Dazo, 1965).  They prefer to inhabit large bodies of water in areas ranging from three feet to only a few inches deep (Kansas Department of Wildlife, 2011). They live their life as bottom dwellers, feeding on decomposing organic material at the bottom of streams and lakes (Kansas Department of Wildlife, 2011).  Classifying their type of feeding as detrivorous (Dazo, 1965).  Dazo also found that the ideal pH for Pleurocera acuta was anywhere from 8.0 to 8.4 (Dazo, 1965).  It is important for snails to stay out of acidic waters because it can contribute to shell corrosion (Hickman, 2009).  Carbon dioxide levels in the study were ideal between 0 and 15 ppm (Dazo, 1965).  Another interesting link found was the relationship between Pleurocera habitats and their shell diameter.  In shallow, calm habitats the shell is thinner while in habitats that expose the sharp horn snail to excessive water motion a thicker shell develops (Goodrich, 1939).  This is a protective adaptation to withstand the increased water pressure in high current environments (Goodrich, 1939).


Freshwater and terrestrial snails are one of the highest risk animals facing extinction in the United States and Canada (Hickman, 1965).  In Kansas, one of Pleurocera acuta's historical locations, they are only found in a few counties and are now protected under the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act (Kansas Department of Wildlife, 2011). 





For more information on Pleurocera acuta and other species populations in Kansas, please visit the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website.


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