Pleurocera acuta

Life History and Interactions

Life History:

The oldest fossils of Pleurocera acuta date back to the late Mesozoic era (Dazo, 1965).  According to Dazo, there are at least two theories as to where the Pleuroceridae group originated from.  One theory states that the snails came from the west coast, near Colorado and Montana, and migrated east with Unionidae.  But how could the snails travel that far?  The proposed answer is found by looking at the historic locations of present day lakes and streams.  These past streams covered most of North America, and according to the theory made it possible for the snails to migrate the long distance.  The second theory is that the group Pleuroceridae originated in the southeastern part of the United States.  The reasoning behind this theory is that the south is a common habitat to many other related species and is is more readily available to see the stream and lake connections from that area to the current location (Dazo 1965).


 Snails like Pleurocera acuta and other Mollusks are often a host or intermediate host to variety of parasites and diseases (Hickman, 2009).  For example, a Gastropod is the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni, a Trematoda parasite (Hickman, 2009).  The definitive host for this disease is a human vertebrate (Hickman, 2009). According to the Center For Disease Control, the eggs are found in the feces of the human and develop into miracidia which penetrate the snail tissue.  Inside the snail, the larva undergoes two stages of sporocyte development, the later being a free swimming form called cercariae.  This cercariae is released from the snail to infect humans and continue the cycle (Center For Disease Control, 2011).

 For more information about Schistosomiasis visit the Center For Disease Control.

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