Ecology: Elimia livescens is a small freshwater snail that inhabits rocky, sandy, and muddy substrate in lakes, ponds, and rivers. Tolerant of brackish water but does not tolerate pollution or anoxic conditions. Mortality occurs in temperatures above 32°C (Nash 1954). Chemical habitat requirements are not reported for this species specifically, but most freshwater gastropods require calcium concentrations above 5 mg/l (Lodge et al. 1987). Furthermore, most freshwater snails are not found in waters below a pH of 5 (Jokinen 1983). Shell shape and thickness is correlated to environmental conditions: snails in higher currents exhibit thicker, shorter, and more globular shells to promote adhesion, whereas those in lower currents have thinner, taller, and elongated shells to facilitate navigation (Anderson 2010; Dunitahn et al. 2012; Cazenave and Zanatta 2016).
Elimia livescens mature sexually after one year, and typically live up to five. Sexes are separate and mate in fall and spring. Oviposition begins in spring, peaking in April and May and ending in early August. Between one and four eggs are laid per day and are covered in a thin layer of soil (Dazo 1965). Egg production is positively related with body length (Krist 2001). Hatch occurs approximately two weeks after deposition (Dazo 1965).
This species grazes on periphyton (green algae and diatoms) using its radula (Dazo 1965; Sallenave et al. 1994). Elimia livescens is eaten by fish, ducks, and crayfish. Its shell shape and thickness can be influenced by the presence of crayfish, with more defensive shell orientations in heavily predated populations (Krist 2002).
References: (click for full references)
Anderson, K.L. 2010. The effect of current and habitat on the shell morphology of the freshwater snail, Elimia livescens
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Cazenave, K.R., and D.T. Zanatta. 2016. Environmental drivers of shell shape in a freshwater gastropod from small and large lakes. Freshwater Science 35(3):948-957.
Cooper, W. 1834. in Henry R. Schoolcraft, ed. Narrative of an expedition through the upper Mississippi to Itasca lake, the actual source of this river; embracing an exploratory trip through the St. Croix and Burntwood (or Broule) rivers: in 1832. Harper. New York.
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Dunithan, A., S. Jacquemin, and M. Pyron. 2012. Morphology of Elimia livescens (Mollusca: Pleuroceridae) in Indiana, U.S.A. covaries with environmental variation. American Malacological Bulletin 30:1-7. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mark_Pyron/publication/259975826_Morphology_of_Elimia_livescens_Mollusca_Pleuroceridae_in_Indiana_USA_Covaries_with_Environmental_Variation/links/0deec52ed253081a81000000/Morphology-of-Elimia-livescens-Mollusca-Pleuroc.
Jokinen, E.H. 1983. The freshwater snails of Connecticut. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford, CT.
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Say, T. 1821. Descriptions of univalve shells of the United States. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 2(1):149-179.
Strong, E.E. 2005. A morphological reanalysis of Pleurocera acuta Rafinesque, 1831, and Elimia livescens (Menke, 1830) (Gastropoda: Cerithioidea: Pleurocerdidae). The Nautilus 119(4):119-132. https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/handle/10088/7388/IZ_EStrong_2005.pdf.
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