Pyrgulopsis pecosensis

Pecos Springsnail

FWS Focus

Overview

Characteristics
Overview

The Pecos springsnail (Pyrgulopsis pecosensis) is a tiny gastropod in the mud snail family. It has been found in a few spring systems associated with the Black River in the Pecos River Basin of New Mexico. The species was listed as New Mexico state threatened in 1983, and its status is under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Threats to the species include habitat loss or alteration from groundwater pumping and surface diversion, flood scouring, drought, and groundwater contamination. 

Enhancement of Survival Permits are issued through two Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances that are aligned with a Candidate Conservation Agreement to cover activities such as monitoring and research, water pumping and irrigation, grazing, and oil and gas development, production, and transport. These agreements are for the federally endangered Texas hornshell mussel (Popenaias popeii) and include the Pecos springsnail as a covered species. 

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 1988. Handbook of species endangered in New Mexico. Account B-299

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 2020. Threatened and Endangered Species of New Mexico. 2020. Biennial Review. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Taylor, D. W. 1983. Endangered species: status investigation of mollusks of New Mexico. Professional Service Contract Nos. 519-69-01 and 519-69-01-A.

Taylor, D. W. 1987. Fresh-water mollusks from New Mexico and vicinity. New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Bulletin 116.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2017a. Candidate Conservation Agreement for the Texas Hornshell (Popenaias popeii) and other Covered Species. Bureau of Land Management, Roswell, New Mexico and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2017b. Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Texas Hornshell Mussel (Popenaias popeii) and Other Covered Species. Center of Excellence, Carlsbad, New Mexico and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2017c. Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Texas Hornshell Mussel (Popenaias popeii) and Other Covered Species. New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands, Santa Fe, New Mexico and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2017d. Environment Assessment for a Candidate Conservation Agreement/Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the Texas Hornshell (Popenaias popeii) and other Desert Riparian Species in southeastern New Mexico and west Texas. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Scientific Name

Pyrgulopsis pecosensis
Common Name
Pecos Springsnail
FWS Category
Snails
Kingdom

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers

TSN:

Characteristics

Characteristic category

Habitat

Characteristics
Habitat

Pecos springsnails have been known to occur in a few wetland areas in arid karst topography of southeastern New Mexico. They have been found primarily along the edges of their spring habitat in mud and pebble substrates. These habitats are characterized by natural narrow channels with vertical banks, substantial flows, excellent water quality, Chara aquatic algae, watercress (Nasturtium officinale) and abundant riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
vegetation such as willows (Salix spp.).  

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 1988. Handbook of species endangered in New Mexico. Account B-299.

Desert

Arid land with usually sparse vegetation.

Grassland

Land on which the natural dominant plant forms are grasses and forbs.

Forest

A dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large tract.

Cave or Karst

A natural chamber or series of chambers in the earth or in the side of a hill or cliff. An irregular limestone region with sinkholes, underground streams and caverns.

River or Stream

A natural body of running water.

Rural

Environments influenced by humans in a less substantial way than cities. This can include agriculture, silvaculture, aquaculture, etc.

Springs or Seeps

Areas where ground water meets the surface.

Wetland

Areas such as marshes or swamps that are covered often intermittently with shallow water or have soil saturated with moisture.

Characteristic category

Lifecycle

Characteristics
Reproduction

Little is known about the details of Pecos springsnail reproduction. The male's reproductive organ is bifid (divided in two by a deep cleft or notch), consisting of a narrow penis with a ductless accessory process on the left.  

Landye, J. J. 1981. Current status of endangered, threatened, and/or rare mollusks of New Mexico and Arizona. Endangered Species Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Final Report 13.

Lifespan

The lifespan of Pecos springsnails has not been recorded.

Lifecycle

The life cycle of Pecos springsnails is not well studied. Females lay eggs that develop and hatch in their aquatic environment, likely in the spring and summer. 

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 1988. Handbook of species endangered in New Mexico. Account B-299.

Characteristic category

Physical Characteristics

Characteristics
Color & Pattern

The heads of Pecos springsnails are dark grey to black in color. Their periostracum (shell coating) is tan colored, and their operculum (shell lid) is amber and more intensely hued in the callus. 

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 1988. Handbook of species endangered in New Mexico. Account B-299.

Taylor, D. W. 1987. Fresh-water mollusks from New Mexico and vicinity. New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Bulletin 116.

Sound

Pecos springsnail sounds have not been identified or recorded.

Size & Shape

The shells of Pecos springsnails are very small (> 3.7 mm) with incised spiral patterns and a spire with a conical outline. Males and females do not differ significantly in size.

Landye, J. J. 1981. Current status of endangered, threatened, and/or rare mollusks of New Mexico and Arizona. Endangered Species Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Final Report 13.

Taylor, D. W. 1987. Fresh-water mollusks from New Mexico and vicinity. New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Bulletin 116.

Weight

No recorded weight measurements for Pecos springsnail are available at this time.

Characteristic category

Similar Species

Characteristics
Similar Species

There are no other similar springsnail species where Pecos springsnails are known to occur.  

Taylor, D. W. 1987. Fresh-water mollusks from New Mexico and vicinity. New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Bulletin 116.

Characteristic category

Food

Characteristics
Food

Pecos springsnails are presumed to be primarily herbivorous, likely feeding on algae and other organic matter.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 1988. Handbook of species endangered in New Mexico. Account B-299.

Characteristic category

Behavior

Characteristics
Behavior

The Hydrobiidae family of snails is distinct from other snail families in that gills are used for aquatic respiration rather than lung structures for breathing. They have a pair of eyes at the base of long tentacles used for orientation and olfactory functions.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 1988. Handbook of species endangered in New Mexico. Account B-299.

Geography

Characteristics
Import/Export

This species and its parts are not available to import or export. 

Range

Pecos springsnails are historically known from two spring complexes in close proximity to one another that serve as perennial tributaries to the Black River in southeastern New Mexico. The population in Castle Springs, the smaller of the two complexes, fluctuated from low in 1968 to high in 1971, 1973, and 1980. Surveys in 1992 and 1993 did not detect snails, and the species was presumed to have been driven out due to adverse land use practices and flood scouring. Blue Springs, the larger of the two spring systems, is currently known to support springsnails. Snails have been recorded as far as 1.25 miles from the spring source, and have been monitored with regularity through the middle reach of the spring run.  A Candidate Conservation Agreement and two Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances have special management stipulations for Blue Springs, where participants exercise good faith efforts to avoid disturbance.

Landye, J. J. 1981. Current status of endangered, threatened, and/or rare mollusks of New Mexico and Arizona. Endangered Species Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Final Report 13.

Lang, B. K. 2011. Aquatic mollusks of Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Annual Performance Report E-56-7 submitted to the Division of Federal Aid, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Mehlhop, P. 1992. Establishment of a rare mollusc inventory and monitoring program for New Mexico. Progress Report. NMDGF Professional Services Contract 80-519-52.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 1988. Handbook of species endangered in New Mexico. Account B-299.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 1998. Status of Mollusks of New Mexico. Performance Report E-2Q-6 submitted to U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 2020. Threatened and Endangered Species of New Mexico. 2020. Biennial Review. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Taylor, D. W. 1987. Fresh-water mollusks from New Mexico and vicinity. New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Bulletin 116.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2017a. Candidate Conservation Agreement for the Texas Hornshell (Popenaias popeii) and other Covered Species. Bureau of Land Management, Roswell, New Mexico and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2017b. Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Texas Hornshell Mussel (Popenaias popeii) and Other Covered Species. Center of Excellence, Carlsbad, New Mexico and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2017c. Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Texas Hornshell Mussel (Popenaias popeii) and Other Covered Species. New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands, Santa Fe, New Mexico and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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