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First Report of Siphonaria (Mollusca: Gastropoda) Species From The Rocky Coasts Off Karachi, Pakistan (Northern Arabian Sea).

Byline: Azra Bano, Muhammad Moazzam, Zarrien Ayub and Ghazala Siddiqui


In the present study three species of Siphonaria, viz., S. ashgar, S. belcheri and S. kurracheensis were identified on the rocky coasts of Karachi. Two species, S. ashgar and S. belcheri are being reported for the first time from Pakistan whereas S. kurracheensis was already reported earlier.

Key words: Siphonaria ashgar, Siphonaria belcheri, Siphonaria kurracheensis, rocky coasts, Karachi, Arabian Sea

Pulmonate limpets of the genus Siphonaria are common components in the rocky intertidal habitats throughout the world (Hodgson, 1999). More than 70 species of Siphonaria occur globally (Hubendick, 1946), most of these are distributed in the lower latitudes of the Indo-Pacific (Hubendick, 1947). Earlier reported species of Siphonaria from Pakistan include Siphonaria kurracheensis (Reeve, 1856; Melvill and Standen, 1901), S. javanica sipho (Melvill and Standen, 1901), S. lecanium (Melvill and Standen, 1901). Later, the gastropod fauna of the rocky shores off the coast of Pakistan were extensively studied (Khan and Dastagir, 1970; Ahmed et al., 1982; Barkati and Burney, 199l; Moazzam and Ahmed, 1994; Ahmed and Hameed, 1999; Nasreen et al., 2000); however, no study reported the presence of Siphonaria species on the coast of Pakistan.

One of the authors of this MS, has made frequent visits in last 35 years to the rocky coasts off Karachi and always found Siphonaria species in the area. The present study aims to describe three species of Siphonaria which exist on the rocky coasts of Karachi.

Materials and methods

Specimens of Siphonaria were randomly collected from three rocky ledges of Karachi, namely Mubarak Village, Buleji and Sandspit (Fig.1), from December 2004 to December 2005. The three species of Siphonaria collected in the present study are found at three different positions above the mean water level. The tides off the Karachi coasts are semi diurnal type with the tidal range of about 3.0 meters (Quraishee, 1975).

The specimens were identified following the literature of Bosch et al. (1995) and the maximum shell length of each specimen was measured with vernier calipers (+- 0.1 mm).



Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Gastropoda

Subclass: Pulmonata

Order: Basommatophora

Superfamily: Siphonarioidea

Family: Siphonariidae


Siphonaria ashgar Biggs, 1958

Numbers of individual collected: 1288

Size: 3-22 mm

Locality: Buleji, Sandspit and Mubarak Village


The shell is thick and conical; central apex smooth, the outer margin is nearly smooth with faintly marked siphonal groove. The shell is etched with variable numbers of radial ribs (usually 38-46), between each of which are thinner ribs. Interior of the shell is light or dark brown with white and off-white radial streaks at the margin. The species was found attached on rocks at 3 meters above the mean sea level.


This species was first described by Biggs (1958) from Persian Gulf. It was also reported in the Gulf of Oman (Bosch et al., 1995) and Kuwait Bay (Abdul-Salam and Al-Khedery, 1992).

Siphonaria belcheri Hanley, 1858

Numbers of individual collected: 793

Size: 5-22 mm

Locality: Buleji, Sandspit and Mubarak Village


The shell is thick and low conical, the outer margin is not very smooth and the siphonal groove projects prominently. The sculpture consists of variable numbers of strong radial ribs (usually 12-16) with narrower ribs between them. Two radial ribs are nearly fused at site of the siphonal groove. The shell is off-white with brown stripes; interior of shell has white rays with pale brown colour in between, muscle scar is light orangish. The species was found attached on the rocks at 1-2 meters above the mean sea level.


The species was reported from Arabian Sea, Mediterranean (Turkey) and Mauritius (Trew, 1983; Bosch et al., 1995; Albayrak and Caglar, 2006).

Siphonaria kurracheensis Reeve, 1856

Numbers of individual collected: 270

Size: 7-22 mm

Locality: Mubarak Village


The shell is moderately thick and flattened, with variable number of strong radial ribs (usually 10-14) projecting from outer margin of shell, the siphonal groove prominent. Outer shell is brown with ribs darker brown; interior of shell is light brown with white or beige colour in the centre. This species was found attached to rocks at 0.5 meter above the mean sea level.


A holotype of this species was collected from Karachi (Reeve, 1856). It was also reported from Mekran Coast (Pakistan) (Melvill and Standen, 1901). This species has a wide distribution in the Indo-West Pacific region and was reported in Western Australia, New Caledonia, India, Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Philippines, Hong Kong, Samoan Islands and Hawaiian Islands (Trew, 1983; Bosch et al., 1995).


The shells of Siphonaria are commonly called as false limpets because of their superficial resemblance to true limpets (Patelloidea) to whom they are distantly related. One of the authors of this MS has made frequent visits in last 35 years to the rocky coasts off Karachi and always found Siphonaria species in the area and thus this species cannot be considered as an invasive species. It is possible that the earlier studies conducted on the gastropod fauna (Khan and Dastagir, 1970; Ahmed et al., 1982; Barkati and Burney, 199l; Moazzam and Ahmed, 1994; Ahmed and Hameed, 1999; Nasreen et al., 2000) due to the small sizes of Siphonaria spp. either neglected it or incorrectly identified them as Patella or Cellana spp. as these two species are abundant on rocky coasts.


Abdulsalam, J. and Alkhedery, B., 1992. Hydrobiologia, 248: 161-165.

Ahmed, M., Rizvi, S. H. N. and Moazzam, M., 1982. Pakistan J. Zool., 14: 175-184.

Ahmed, M. and Hameed, S., 1999. Pakistan J. biol. Sci., 31: 81-91.

Albayrak, S. and Caglar, S., 2006. Aquat. Invas., 1: 292-294.

Barkati, S. and Burney, S.M.A., 1991. Nat. Sci. Res. Develop. Bd, Univ. Karachi. 90p.

Biggs, H. E. J., 1958. J. Conch. London, 24: 249.

Bosch, D. T., Dance, P., Moolenbeek, R. G. and Oliver, P.G., 1995. Seashells of eastern Arabia. Motivate Publishing, Dubai, UAE, pp. 296.

Hanley, S., 1858. Proc. zool. Soc. London, 26: 23-25.

Hodgson, A. N., 1999. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev., 37: 245-314.

Hubendick, B., 1946. Kungl. Sven. Vetenskapsakad. Handli. Tred. Ser., 23: 5-93.

Hubendick, B., 1947. Zool. Bidrag. Fran. Uppsala, 24: 1-216.

Khan, M. D. and Dastagir, S. H., 1971. Rec. zool. Surv. Pakistan, 2: 17-131.

Melvill, J.C. and Standen, R., 1901. Proc. zool. Soc. London, 2: 327-400.

Moazzam, M. and Ahmed, J., 1994. Proc. nat. Semi. Fish. Polic. Plan. Mar. Fish. Dept., Govt. Pakistan.

Nasreen, H., Ahmed, M. and Hameed, S., 2000. Pakistan J. Zool., 32: 343-350.

Quraishee, G. S., 1975. Int. Conf. Managm. Environ. Pakistan Acad. Sc., Islamabad, pp. 111-112.

Reeve, L., 1856. Conchologia Iconica. Reeve and Co, Kent.

Trew, A., 1983. Part 16, Siphonariacea. National Museum of Wales, Wales. U. K.


Juveniles of Genus Oligacanthorhynchus Travassos, 1915 (Acanthocephala: Oligacanthorhynchidae Southwell and Macfie, 1925) From Snakes in Karachi, Pakistan

By: Richard A. Heckmann, Aly Khan, and Omer M. Amin

_: Abstract

This investigation was conduct to identify Acanthocephalan from snakes of Sindh. A total of six snakes (Naja naja) were examined and all were infected with Oligacanthorhynchus Travassos, 1915 juveniles. SEM revealed the shape of the hooks and nature of the integument.

Key words: Acanthocephala, juveniles, snakes, Oligacanthorhynchus, Sindh.

Acanthocephalans of genus Oligacanthorhynchus Travassos, 1915 are parasites of birds and mammals, juveniles commonly found encysted in reptiles (Schmidt, 1972). In a survey of acanthocephalan parasites from reptiles of Karachi, six snakes (Naja naja Linnaeus) were dissected during August 2009 to January 2010. All the six snakes were infected with juveniles of genus Oligacanthorhynchus Travassos, 1915, recovered from the body cavity.

Materials and methods

The snakes (Naja naja) were caught from Karachi University Campus, Sindh, Pakistan. The number of parasites per host ranged between 14 to 96 specimens per host. Twenty six acanthocephalan collected from the body cavity and intestine were fixed in F.A.A. solution under slight glass slide pressure, stained with Mayer's carmalum, dehydrated in graded series of alcohol cleared in clove oil and xylol, and mounted permanently in Canada balsam. Standard methods were used to prepare each specimen for SEM which included critical point drying and attaching the specimen to stubs. Samples attached to stubs were examined with an Environmental SEM (XL330ESEMFEG) equipped with an EDXA or (Phoenix Energy Dispersive X-ray Analyzer). SEM micrographs at various magnifications were taken.

Results and discussion

The juveniles had inverted proboscis, body medium sized 2.3-2.8 mm (Figs. 1, 2), proboscis was more or less globular, the proboscis hooks stout in laeotropical spiral rows emerging from a elevated rim from proboscis surface as seen in scanning electron micrograph (Fig. 3), some hooks have collagenous fibres strands attached (Fig. 4). The hooks are used for host attachment (Figs. 5, 6, 7). Body integument not smooth but with micropores throughout the body which are used for absorbing food from the host (Fig. 8). Probably the snake acts as intermediate host.

In an earlier study juveniles of genus Oligacanthorhynchus Travassos, 1915 were recovered from the small intestine of Uromastix hardwicki Gray from Karachi, Pakistan (Khan et al., 2004). This is the first record of genus Oligacanthorhynchus in snake from Pakistan. So far only two species of the genus namely Oligacanthorhynchus cati (Gupta and Lata, 1968) Schmidt, 1972 and O. indicus Ranguraja and Das, 1981 have been reported from India.


Gupta, N.K. and Lata, V., 1968. Res. Bull. Punjab Univ. (Sci) 18: 253-268.

Khan, A., Khatoon, N. and Bilqees, F.M., 2004. Pakistan J. Zool., 36: 344.

Schmidt, G.D., 1972. J. Parasit., 58: 290-297.

Dept. of Integrative Biology, 401 W1DB, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah-84602

Crop Diseases Research Institute, PARC, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270

Institute of Parasitic Disease, 11445 E, Via Linda, # 2-419, Scottsdale, Arizona 85259, U.S.A
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Author:Bano, Azra; Moazzam, Muhammad; Ayub, Zarrien; Siddiqui, Ghazala
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Zoology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 30, 2011
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