Moapa Pebblesnail (Pyrgulopsis avernalis)
Invertebrates Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Moapa Pebblesnail (Pyrgulopsis avernalis)
Moapa Pebblesnails (arrows and other green dots) in stream habitat with Moapa White River Springfish (left) and Moapa Dace (right).

General: We don't often think of snails in the Mojave Desert, but various species of snails can be found in springs and streams throughout the desert. Because their habitat -- water in the desert -- always is in danger of drying out, the endemic aquatic snails are considered species of concern. Aquatic snails probably were distributed widely throughout the region during the last ice age, but now they are restricted to the few remaining springs and creeks.

Pebble Snails eat algae and detritus, and algae seems to grow on their shell, making them appear to be green.

Taxonomy: Family Hydrobiidae. Formerly named Fluminicola avernalis.

Moapa Pebblesnail (Pyrgulopsis avernalis)
Moapa Pebblesnails (green dots) in stream habitat with Moapa White River Springfish.

The Moapa Pebblesnail is found in warm springs and outflows at the head of the Muddy River where water emerges at about 88°F. The Moapa National Wildlife Refuge protects some of their habitat.

Please be careful around springs so as not to damage the habitat or injure the snails. Don't wash in springs because soap will hurt them. Goldfish and other non-native species that people put in springs are a problem for the pebblesnails too.

Moapa Pebblesnail (Pyrgulopsis avernalis) Moapa Pebblesnails (green dots) on a rock in stream habitat.
Moapa Pebblesnail (Pyrgulopsis avernalis) Moapa Pebblesnails
Moapa Pebblesnail (Pyrgulopsis avernalis) Moapa Pebblesnails
Moapa Pebblesnail (Pyrgulopsis avernalis) Underside of Moapa Pebblesnail showing foot, mouth, and antennae.
Moapa Pebblesnail (Pyrgulopsis avernalis) Moapa Pebblesnail
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 081226

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