Ancylastrum cumingianus (Bourguignat, 1853)

Great Lakes giant limpet, Australian freshwater limpet, Tasmanian freshwater limpet, Tasmanian freshwater 'limpet'



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Last record: 1978

Since rediscovered

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered


"The team was initially searching at yingina / Great Lake for another previously thought to be extinct snail species, the Great Lake giant freshwater limpet (Ancylastrum cumingianus). It was rediscovered during an aquatic invertebrate survey when the lake was at a historic low.

As part of Hydro Tasmania’s environmental surveys, the team returned to the now refilled lake late last year, armed with old roof tiles sourced from a tip shop, plus ropes and buoys.

Entura’s Field Ecologist and Water Quality Consultant Kevin Macfarlane explains that the tiles were lowered to various depths (2-10 metres) to the lake floor in the hope they would become inhabited by bottom-dwelling species, such as the limpet.

Returning in January this year to retrieve the tiles, Kevin said that they not only found the limpets but also three very tiny specimens of an aquatic snail called Beddomeia tumida – the first time the live snail has been recorded in the area since 1900."




Great Lake, Lake St Clair and other lakes, Central Plateau, Tasmania, Australia


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Bourguignat, J.-R. (1853). Notice sur le genre Ancylus, suivi d'un catalogue synonymique des espèces de ce genre. Journal de Conchyliologie 4(1): 55-66; 4 (2): 169-199, pl. 6 figs 9-12.

Other references:

Hubendick, B. (1964). Studies on Ancylidae. In: Göteborgs K. Vetensk. Vitter. Samh. Handl. Ser. B, Stockholm. [incomplete citation]

Mollusc Specialist Group. (1996). Ancylastrum cumingianus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. ( Downloaded on 01 December 2013.

MolluscaBase eds. (2021). MolluscaBase. Ancylastrum cumingianus (Bourguignat, 1853). Accessed at: on 2022-04-29

Smith, B. and Kershaw, R. (1979). Field guide to the non-marine molluscs of south-eastern Australia. Canberra.

Walker, J. C. (1988). Classification of Australian buliniform planorbids (Mollusca: Pulmonata). Records of the Australian Museum. 40(2): 61-89.


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