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    Author(s): Kevin S. McKelvey; Corey Kallstrom; Jeri Ledbetter; Donald W. Sada; Kristine L. PilgrimMichael K. Schwartz
    Date: 2020
    Source: Western North American Naturalist. 80: 183-193.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    Springsnails (genus Pyrgulopsis, hereafter pyrgs) are small freshwater aquatic gastropods that occur in isolated springs in western North America. Pyrgs are species of conservation concern, but patterns of occupancy and speciation are complex. We investigated patterns of occurrence for pyrgs in the Spring Mountains, Clark County, Nevada. We were primarily concerned with identifying springs containing the species P. deaconi, the Spring Mountains pyrg, and P. turbatrix, the southeast Nevada pyrg. We identified species through genetic analysis of the COI-1 mitochondrial region and examined patterns of genetic structure. We located aquatic gastropods in 26 springs and analyzed 420 aquatic gastropods, of which 392 were pyrgs, the remainder representing an unknown species of Physa. Of the 26 springs, 25 contained pyrgs and 5 contained Physa sp. For pyrgs, at COI-1 we identified a total of 29 haplotypes that formed 6 distinct monophyletic groups. Five of the 6 groups were consistent with pyrgs previously identified: P. bacchus, P. deaconi, P. fausta, P. turbatrix, and an unknown species which had been identified previously in the Grapevine Springs. The sixth group, found in 2 springs, does not match any reference specimen and is genetically divergent from the other 5 groups. It is most closely related to P. micrococcus. Prior to this study, P. bacchus had not been located in the Spring Mountains. Both P. deaconi and P. turbatrix were located in multiple springs on both the east and west sides of the Spring Mountains, even though the Las Vegas Valley (east) and Pahrump Valley (west) are hydrologically distinct. At the scale of the hydrologic basin, genetic structure was not discernable; haplotype divergence did not align with basin boundaries and the most common haplotype for P. turbatrix occurred on both the east and west sides of the Spring Mountains. While there was little evidence for genetic structuring at the hydrologic-basin level, there was good evidence for structuring at the level of the individual spring. All told, 79% (23/29) of pyrg haplotypes were unique to specific springs, suggesting that pyrg diversity primarily occurs at the level of the individual spring.

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    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Kallstrom, Corey; Ledbetter, Jeri; Sada, Donald W.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Schwartz, Michael K. 2020. An inventory of springsnails (Pyrgulopsis spp.) in and adjacent to the Spring Mountains, Nevada. Western North American Naturalist. 80: 183-193.


    springsnails, Pyrgulopsis, Pyrgs, freshwater aquatic gastropods

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