Florida Museum of Natural History

A biodiversity inventory of the freshwater snail fauna of Holmes Creek, Florida

Fred G. Thompson
Curator of Malacology
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-7800

Email: fgt@flmnh.ufl.edu

This report is in the public domain




1. Introduction

The freshwater snail fauna of Holmes Creek is of particular interest because of the richness of the fauna and the abundance of most species found there. The report is based on biodiversity inventories conducted by the author. All species records are based on specimens deposited in the Florida Museum of Natural History. Museum catalogue numbers are cited in column 3 of Table 2. For purposes of this report they are regarded as voucher specimens. In the absence of voucher specimens claims of species identifications could be considered hearsay.

Biodiversity surveys were conducted with the objective of obtaining specimens of all snail species present at a particular locality using standard qualitative survey techniques. The success of each survey was influenced by water levels at the time of the visit. High water levels constitute difficult survey conditions. Low water levels constitute optimal survey conditions. Water-level conditions explain, in part, different results between two or more site-visits at a given locality. Twenty-two (22) species of freshwater snails (TABLE 1) were found in Holmes Creek during forty-one (41) site-visits (FGT...., Column 2, Table 2) at thirty-one (31) field stations in surveys conducted between May 1970 and June 2000 (TABLE 2). Freshwater bivalves (clams) of the genera Pisidium and Corbicula are included in the TABLE 2, but are given no further accord.

The following freshwater snails were collected in Holmes Creek.


TABLE 1. Species of freshwater snails found in Holmes Creek, Florida


PILIDAE
Pomacea paludosa (Say, 1929) - Florida Applesnail

VIVIPARIDAE
Viviparus goodrichi Archer, 1933 - Globose Mysterysnail
Campeloma geniculum (Condrad, 1834) - Ovate Campeloma
Lioplax pilsbryi Walker, 1905 - Choctaw Lioplax

PLEUROCERIDAE
Elimia curvicostata (Reeve, 1861) - Graphite Elimia
Elimia dickinsoni (Clench and Turner, 1956) - Stately Elimia
Elimia n. sp. unnamed species of Elimia

HYROBIIDAE
Somatogyrus walkerianus Aldrich, 1905 - Gulf Coast Pebblesnail
Notogillia wetherbyi (Dall, 1885) - Alligator Siltsnail
Rhapinema dacryon Thompson, 1969 - Teardrop Snail
Spilochlamys n. sp. unnamed - Siltsnail
Lyogyrus n. sp. unnamed - Sprite

LYMNAEIDAE
Pseudosuccinea columella (Say, 1817) - Mimic Lymnaea
Fossaria modicella (Say, 1825) - Rock Fossaria

PHYSIDAE
Physella gyrina aurea (Lea, 1867) - Tadpole Physa
Physella hendersoni (Clench, 1925) - Bayou Physa
Physella cubensis (Phieffer, 1839) - Carib Physa

PLANORBIDAE
Planorbella trivolvis (Say, 1817) - Marsh Rams-horn
Gyraulus parvus (Say, 1817) - Ash Gyro
Micromentus dilatatus (Gould, 1841) - Bugle Sprite

ANCYLIDAE
Laevapex sp. - freshwater limpet (ancylid)
Ferrissia sp. - freshwater limpet (ancylid)


Holmes Creek begins as a small slough-like stream in southern Alabama. It enters Florida near Graceville, and flows southwest to enter the Choctawhatchee River west of Ebro, Florida. During the first half of its course Holmes Creek has the characteristics of a slough-like stream. It is narrow and shallow. There is a slight current. The creek flows over a sand-silt substrate, and the water is acid-brown and has a relatively low mineral content with a pH > 7.0. The faunal diversity through this section of the creek is relatively small, and it includes species that are also found in the lower section of Holmes Creek as well as in other river systems. Species found in this section of the creek are listed under Site-visits1-8 in TABLE 2.

In Washington County, about one mile downstream from the Hwy 276-A bridge, Holmes Creek receives discharge from a midstream spring-source known locally as Burn-out Spring (30°40.9' N, 85°38.8' W). This is the first significant spring along Holmes Creek. From this point downstream the creek flows over exposed limestone bedrock, and it receives discharge from numerous seeps and small springs, as well as from some first and second magnitude springs. From Burn-out Spring downstream to the Choctawhatchee River Holmes Creek becomes progressively clearer, it acquires a higher mineral content, it rapidly increases in water-flow volume, and it's molluscan biodiversity increases. Species encountered in this section of Holmes Creek are recorded under site-visits 9-41 in TABLE 2.

 

2. Geographic significance of the Holmes Creek freshwater snail fauna

Fifteen species are widely distributed, and their presence in Holmes Creek has no particular biogeographic significance. These species are:

One species is found only in the Choctawhatchee River - Holmes Creek - Chipola River drainage systems. This species is:

Three species are found only in Holmes Creek and the Chipola River drainage systems. These species are:

Three species are endemic to the Holmes Creek drainage system. All are unnamed. They are:

Elimia n. sp. is widely distributed in Holmes Creek. It is the commonest large-sized species of snail in the creek. It had been recorded earlier as Elimia clenchi, a species endemic to, but widely distributed and abundant in, the Choctawhatchee River. Early growth stages of the two species are similar, which explains the confusion in some earlier identifications.

Spilochlamys n. sp. is confined principally to the lower section of Holmes Creek in springs and in clear spring fed waters. It is most closely related to Spilochlamys conica Thompson, 1968, which is found in the Flint River system south east to the Withlacoochee River system.

Lyogyrus n. sp. is known only from three springs along the middle section of Holmes Creek. It is restricted to cool, clear pristine water. It is most closely related to Lyogyrus latus Thompson and Hershler, 1991, which is found in the Flint River system and the Ocmulgee River system in Georgia. It is the species in Holmes Creek most susceptible to adverse environmental disturbances upstream of its distribution. Factors that could influence its survival in Hightower Spring and in the "unnamed spring" (Site-visits 26, 27)

Three species found in the Choctawhatchee River were not found in Holmes Creek:

 

3. Conservation of the Holmes Creek freshwater snail fauna

The freshwater snail fauna of Holmes Creek is remarkable for its rich diversity of species. It is the richest freshwater fauna in the Florida panhandle, including the Choctawhatchee River and all of it's other tributaries. It is the second most diverse freshwater fauna in Florida. The St. John's River system has a more diverse fauna, but is drains a much larger geographic area. At present the fauna in Holmes Creek appears to be in pristine condition. No apparent changes in species composition or distributions were detected over a thirty-year sampling period. No municipalities lie along Holmes Creek, except for Graceville and Vernon. Both of these town are small, and sewage contamination and street run-off are minimal. Resident septic tank contamination along the creek is also minimal, with one or two possible exception. Water drawdown for agricultural purposes appears not to have an effect on the fauna currently.

Maintaining Holmes Creek in its present condition should be a priority for water resource management, land use management and biodiversity conservation. The species that are most susceptible to extinction are those species endemic to the creek. A single major adverse environmental event in the creek could cause the extinction of Lyogyrus n. sp., Spilochlamys n. sp. and Elimia n. sp., in that order. These three species are confined to the creek, they have no out-lying populations, and their limited mobility would prevent them from avoiding adverse change. Other species also could be extirpated from Holmes Creek by such an event, but they would still survive in other stream systems where they currently exist.


TABLE 2. Site-visits at 31 field stations (localities) on Holmes Creek, Florida

  1. FGT-5911, Alabama, Geneva Co., Holmes Creek, 1.0 mi. W of Southern Junction,Co. Rd. 4; 1.0 mi. W of AL Hwy 109, 5 Apr 2000
    • 274015, Elimia dickinsoni
  2. FGT-5912, Florida, Jackson Co., Holmes Creek, 1.0 mi. W of Graceville, 5 Apr 2000
    • 274017, Planorbella trivolvis
    • 274018, Elimia dickinsoni
  3. FGT-1448, Florida, Jackson Co., Holmes Creek, 1.0 mi. WNW Graceville, 26 May 1970
    • 25457, Elimia dickinsoni
    • 35111, Laevapex diaphanus
    • 36293, Planorbella trivolvislenta
    • 224836, Campeloma
  4. FGT-1449, Florida, Jackson Co., Holmes Cr., 9.3 mi. SSW Graceville, 26 May 1970
    • 41278, Rhapinema dacryon
    • 231182, Elimia curvicostata
    • 225022, Viviparus goodrichi
    • 231905, Elimia dickinsoni
    • 224842, Campeloma geniculum
  5. FGT-1450, Florida, Washington Co., Holmes Creek, 4.6 mi. W Chipley, 26 May 1970
    • 247848, Pisidium dubium
    • 251987, Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 231834, Elimia
    • 231684, Rhapinema dacryon
    • 224998, Viviparus goodrichi
    • 224863, Campeloma geniculum
    • 223760, Notogillia
    • 223342, Pomacea paludosa
  6. FGT-1451, Florida, Washington Co., Holmes Creek, 6.1 mi. SW Chipley, 26 May 1970
    • 231909, Elimia
    • 225020 Viviparus goodrichi
    • 224869 Campeloma geniculum
  7. FGT-1453 Florida Holmes Co. oxbow pool, 5.3 mi NNW Bonifay, 27 May 1970
    • 218691 Pseudosuccinea columella
    • 219119 Gyraulus parvus
    • 219250 Micromenetus dilatatus dilatatus
  8. FGT-1454 Florida Holmes Co. creek, 5.3 mi NNW Bonifay, 27 May 1970
    • 223695 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 231207 Elimia sp.
    • 224820 Campeloma geniculum
    • 231197 Elimia sp.
    • 219118 Gyraulus parvus
  9. FGT-5942 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, Burn Out Springs, 30°40.9' N, 85°38.8' W, 10 Jun 2000
    • 276600 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 276602 Campeloma geniculum
    • 276601 Ferrissia sp.
    • 276599 Elimia sp.
    • 276598 Elimia curvicostata
  10. FGT-5943 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, Mullet Springs, 30°40.2' N, 85°39.2' W, 10 Jun 2000
    • 276604 Campeloma geniculum
    • 276603 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 276608 Elimia dickinsoni
    • 276607 Elimia sp.
    • 276606 Elimia curvicostata
    • 276610 Elimia sp.
  11. FGT-5944 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, mossy rocks below Burnt Sock Landing, 30°40.1' N, 85°39.4' W, 10 Jun 2000
    • 276609 Elimia curvicostata
    • 276830 Viviparus goodrichi
  12. FGT-5945 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, Cypress Springs, ca. 4 mi. NE of Vernon, 30°39.5' N, 85°41.1' W, 10 Jun 2000
    • 276775 Physella gyrina
    • 276776 Fossaria modicella
    • 276616 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 276614 Physella gyrina aurea
    • 276612 Elimia sp.
    • 276611 Elimia sp.
    • 276615 Rhapinema dacryon
  13. FGT-5946 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, Cypress Spring Run, 10 Jun 2000
    • 276617 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 276619 Spilochlamys
    • 276618 Lyogyrus n. sp.
  14. FGT-3830 Florida Washington Co. Cypress Springs, 2.5 mi. NE of Vernon, 18 May 1985
    • 66004 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 66003 Elimia dickinsoni
    • 66002 Elimia curvicostata
    • 66001 Elimia sp.
    • 66005 Notogillia wetherbyi
  15. FGT-5947 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, below Big Pine Landing, 10 Jun 2000
    • 276623 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 276620 Elimia dickinsoni
    • 276621 Lioplax pilsbryi
    • 276622 Campeloma geniculum
  16. FGT-3831 Florida Washington Co. Beckton Springs, 2 mi. NE of Vernon, 18 May 1985
    • 66008 Elimia curvicostata
    • 66006 Elimia sp.
    • 66009 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 66007 Pisidium casertanum
  17. FGT-3832 Florida Washington Co. Becton Springs, 3 mi. SW of Vernon, 18 May 1985
    • 66013 Elimia curvicostata
    • 66019 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 66016 Campeloma geniculum
    • 66018 Viviparus georgianus
    • 66020 Physella gyrina aurea
    • 66012 Elimia sp.
  18. FGT-5948 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, Beckton Springs, 10 Jun 2000
    • 276625 Elimia curvicostata
    • 276626 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 276627 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 276624 Elimia sp.
  19. FGT-5949 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, Clemmons Spring, along left side of creek (30°38.9' N, 85°41.6' W), 10 Jun 2000
    • 276632 Elimia sp.
    • 276628 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 276633 Campeloma geniculum
    • 276629 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 276630 Physella gyrina aurea
    • 276631 Elimia curvicostata
  20. FGT-3828 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, 6.5 mi. NE of Vernon, 17 May 1985
    • 65990 Elimia curvicostata
    • 65991 Elimia sp.
    • 65994 Viviparus goodrichi
    • 65992 Elimia dickinsoni
    • 65993 Campeloma geniculum
  21. FGT-1452 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, Millers Park, 0.5 mi. N Vernon, 26 May 1970
    • 231211 Elimia curvicostata
    • 21519 Pomacea paludosa
    • 232019 Elimia sp.
    • 223759 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 225019 Viviparus goodrichi
    • 231897 Elimia sp.
    • 247846 Pisidium dubium
    • 224867 Campeloma geniculum
  22. FGT-5927 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, at Miller's Park, ca. 0.5 mi. NE of Vernon (30°37.8' N, 85°42.6' W), 12 May 2000
    • 275188 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 275192 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 275191 Elimia sp.
    • 275189 Campeloma geniculum
    • 275187 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 275577 Pisidium sp.
  23. FGT-3827 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, Vernon, 17 May 1985
    • 65989 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 65983 Elimia sp.
    • 65984 Lioplax pilsbryi
    • 65988 Campeloma geniculum
    • 65986 Elimia curvicostata
    • 65985 Pisidium sp.
    • 65987 Viviparus goodrichi
  24. FGT-3829 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, 4.0 mi. NE of Vernon, 18 May 1985
    • 65996 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 65997 Elimia sp.
    • 65998 Elimia curvicostata
  25. FGT-5928 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, small spring on SE side of river (30°36.5' N, 85°44.2' W), 12 May 2000
    • 275194 Elimia sp.
    • 275197 Campeloma geniculum
    • 275195 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 275580 Elimia sp.
    • 275193 Elimia curvicostata
    • 275581 Lyogyrus n. sp.
    • 275196 Notogillia wetherbyi
  26. FGT-5938 Florida Washington Co. unnamed spring along S side of Holmes Cr., ca. 2.0 mi. W of Vernon (30°36.7' N, 85°44.0' W), 21 May 2000
    • 275328 Elimia sp.
    • 275327 Lyogyrus n. sp.
    • 275326 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 275549 Spilochlamys n. sp.
    • 275325 Campeloma geniculum
    • 275324 Rhapinema dacryon
  27. FGT-5939 Florida Washington Co. unnamed spring along S side of Holmes Cr., ca. 2.0 mi.W of Vernon (30°36.7' N, 85°44.0' W), 21 May 2000
    • 275329 Elimia sp.
    • 275332 Pisidium sp.
    • 275331 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 275330 Notogillia wetherbyi
  28. FGT-5929 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, small oxbow creek on NW side of river, (30°36.4' N, 85°45.2' W), 12 May 2000
    • 275582 Lioplax pilsbryi
    • 275198 Campeloma geniculum
    • 275199 Elimia curvicostata
    • 275200 Elimia sp.
    • 275201 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 275202 Rhapinema dacryon
  29. FGT-3833 Florida Washington Co. Hightower Springs, 5 mi. SW of Vernon, 18 May 1985
    • 66021 Elimia sp.
    • 66022 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 66023 Elimia curvicostata
  30. FGT-5930 Florida Washington Co. Hightower Spring (30°36.3' N, 85°45.3' W), 12 May 2000
    • 275209 Lyogyrus n. sp.
    • 275208 Spilochlamys n. sp.
    • 275207 Spilochlamys n.sp.
    • 275205 Rhapinema dacryon
  31. FGT-5940 Florida Washington Co. Hightower Spring, along S bank of Holmes Creek (30°36.7' N, 85°45.3' W), 21 May 2000
    • 275335 Elimia sp.
    • 275343 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 275342 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 275341 Lyogyrus n. sp.
    • 275340 Lyogyrus n. sp.
    • 275339 Spilochlamys n. sp.
    • 275338 Spilochlamys n. sp.
    • 275336 Rhapinema dacryon
  32. FGT-5941 Florida Washington Co. Hightower Spring, along S bank of Holmes Creek, (30°36.7' N, 85°45.3' W), 21 May 2000
    • 275346 Spilochlamys n. sp.
    • 275350 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 275349 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 275347 Lyogyrus n. sp.
    • 275345 Spilochlamys n. sp.
    • 275344 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 275348 Lyogyrus n. sp.
    • 275484 Physella gyrina
  33. FGT-5931 Florida Washington Co. boat landing, Holmes Creek (30°36.3' N, 85°45.3' W), 12 May 2000
    • 275211 Elimia curvicostata
    • 275212 Elimia sp.
    • 275213 Lioplax pilsbryi
    • 275214 Campeloma geniculum
    • 275215 Notogillia wetherbyi
  34. FGT-5932 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek (30°36.4' N, 85°47.7' W), 13 May 2000
    • 275169 Elimia curvicostata
    • 275173 Campeloma geniculum
    • 275172 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 275171 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 275170 Elimia sp.
    • 275578 Pisidium sp.
  35. FGT-5933 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek (30°36.6' N, 85°48.6' W), 13 May 2000
    • 275177 Spilochlamys n. sp.
    • 275176 Elimia sp.
    • 275174 Elimia curvicostata
    • 275175 Elimia curvicostata
  36. FGT-5934 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek (30°36.6' N, 85°48.6' W), 14 May 2000
    • 275179 Lioplax pilsbryi
    • 275180 Campeloma geniculum
    • 275548 Lioplax pilsbryi
    • 275181 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 275182 Spilochlamys n. sp.
    • 275183 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 275178 Elimia sp.
  37. FGT-5935 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek (30°35.7' N, 85°50.3' W), 14 May 2000
    • 275186 Elimia sp.
    • 275579 Lioplax pilsbryi
    • 275185 Elimia sp.
    • 275184 Elimia sp.
    • 275334 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 275333 Micromenetus dilatatus
    • 275337 Rhapinema dacryon
  38. FGT-3834 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, Shell Landing, 7 mi. N of Ebro, 18 May 1985
    • 66031 Campeloma geniculum
    • 66032 Pseudosuccinea columella
    • 66029 Lioplax pilsbryi
    • 66028 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 66027 Planorbella trivolvis
    • 66026 Elimia sp.
    • 66030 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 66025 Viviparus goodrichi
    • 66024 Pomacea paludosa
    • 275206 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 275203 Elimia sp.
    • 275204 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 275210 Lyogyrus n. sp.
  39. FGT-3826 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, 1.5 mi. SW, 1.0 mi. NWof New Hope, 17 May 1985
    • 65981 Elimia sp.
  40. FGT-1884 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, 2.4 mi WSW New Hope, 14 Jun 1972
    • 224866 Campeloma geniculum
    • 231719 Rhapinema dacryon
    • 35119 Laevapex fuscus
    • 223758 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 231963 Elimia sp.
    • 223341 Pomacea paludosa
    • 218866 Physella hendersoni
    • 237843 Corbicula manilensis
    • 39818 Elimia sp.
    • 28869 Lioplax pilsbryi
    • 231934 Elimia sp.
  41. FGT-1885 Florida Washington Co. Holmes Creek, 2.9 mi. W, 3.4 mi. S New Hope, 14 Jun 1972
    • 232020 Elimia sp.
    • 231208 Elimia sp.
    • 237842 Corbicula manilensis
    • 247721 Pisidium sp.
    • 36291 Planorbella trivolvis
    • 41228 Somatogyrus walkerianus
    • 223761 Notogillia wetherbyi
    • 28868 Lioplax pilsbryi
    • 218784 Physella cubensis
    • 224865 Campeloma geniculum