Austrochloritis porteri (Cox, 1866)

Shea, Michael & Köhler, Frank, 2019, Towards a Systematic Revision of the Eastern Australian Land Snail Austrochloritis Pilsbry, 1891 (Eupulmonata, Camaenidae): Re-description of its Type Species, A. porteri (Cox, 1866), Records of the Australian Museum 71 (4), pp. 111-120: 113-115

publication ID 10.3853/j.2201-4349.71.2019.1699

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Austrochloritis porteri (Cox, 1866)


Austrochloritis porteri (Cox, 1866)  

Helix porteri Cox, 1866: 373   [publ. 5 Sep]; Hedley, 1890: 249–250, pl. 15.

Chloritis (Austrochloritis) porteri   .—Pilsbry, 1891 (in 1890–1891): 263, pl. 58, figs 23–24; Pilsbry, 1894 (in 1893–95): 121, pl. 28, figs 1–4; Zilch, 1966: 299.

Austrochloritis porteri   .— Iredale, 1938: 94; Stanisic et al. 2010: 390.

Material examined

Type material. Neotype, herein designated, AM C.24556 from New South Wales, Upper Richmond River, Booyong, Pearces Ck , 28°45'00"S 153°26'53"E (leg. 1906) ( Fig. 1A View Figure 1 ). GoogleMaps  

Non-type material. NEW SOUTH WALES: Upper Richmond River, Booyong, Pearces Ck, 28°45'00"S 153°26'53"E ( AM C.557014); Upper Richmond River, 28°30'30"S 152°59'E ( AM C.334934–35); Wilson River , tributary of Richmond River , Booyong , 28°44'53"S 153°26'53"E ( AM C. 112291); Richmond River ( AM C.33390, AM C.339397, AM C.334941, AM C.334943–45); 25 km NE of Kyogle, Wiangarie SF, off Forest Rd, 28°23'23"S 153°6'24"E ( AM C.339394, AM C.339744); Whian Whian SF, Red Scrub Flora Reserve , 28°38'12"S 153°19'48"E ( AM C.339391, AM C.339745); Whian Whian SF, Terania Ck, Mackays Rd, 28°35'S 153°19'E ( AM C.339395–96, AM C.339743); E of Mullumbimby , Huonbrook , upper Coopers Ck , 28°33'S 153°21'E ( AM C.334959); Mt Warning , track to summit, 50–100m from carpark, 28°23'55"S 153°16'59"E ( AM C.463198, AM C.463214); Mt Warning , 28°24'S 153°16'11"E ( AM C.136825); banks of the Richmond River at Casino, 28°52'S 153°03'E ( AM C.137773); SE of Lismore, near Alstonville GoogleMaps   , Victoria Park, 28°54'S 153°24'30"E ( AM C.363835); Byron Bay, 28°39'S 153°37'E ( AM C.31218, AM C.339398); E of Lismore, Wollongbar , 28°49'S 153°24'E ( AM C.334946); SW of Murwillumbah , Byangum , 28°21'30"S 153°21'37"E ( AM C.334948, C.334950); Tweed River , 28°18'S 153°27'E ( AM C.55539) GoogleMaps   . QUEENSLAND: Lamington NP, Binna Burra, Bellbird Circuit, 28°12'S 153°11'E ( AM C.363837, AM C.444258, AM C.363842–43, AM C.512604); Lamington NP, Binna Burra Guest House, 28°11'46"S 153°11'20"E ( AM C.363837, AM C.363842–43, AM C.444258); Lamington NP, O’Reilly’s Camp Ground, 28°13'54"S 153°08'01"E ( AM C.129249); Numinbah Valley Rd, 1 km S of Natural Arch, 28°14'21"S 153°14'17"E ( AM C.474737); NW of Murwillumbah, nr Springbrook, 28°14'07"S 153°16'38"E ( AM C.444266); Currumbin Valley , 28°08'S 153°29'E ( AM C.444267); Currumbin, 4 miles W of coast, 28°8'S 153°25'19"E ( AM C.363858); Collins Gap, Mt Lindsay Hwy , 28°20'S 152°42'E ( AM C.444259); Natural Bridge NP, 28°13'S 153°14'E ( AM C.129279) GoogleMaps   .

Nomenclatural and taxonomic remarks

The original type material could not be traced in the AM   , nor in the QM, NMV, ZMB, SMF, NHMUK, and is considered lost. Cox’s types have generally been deposited in the collection of the Australian Museum. Indeed, other historic shell material collected by both Porter and Macgillivray in northern NSW in or before 1866 is still extant in this collection. Repeated efforts by various persons (Alan Solem, John Stanisic, ourselves) to find type material at the AM   or other institutions have been unsuccessful. No types are known or suspected to be kept in other museums. Zilch (1966) did not report any types to be held by the SMF   .

The original description was based on material collected by two different collectors at two separate sites: “Upper Clarence River at Guy Faux Station (Porter)”and “Upper Richmond River, at Cowlong […] (Macgillivray)”. Using contemporary georeferenced materials, we have located these two sites with reasonable precision. The first site is Guy Fawkes Station, N of Ebor and W of Point Lookout within the uppermost Clarence River catchment (c. 30°21'00"S 152°22'12"E). The second is NE of Lismore, S of Booyong (c. 28°46'12"S 153°25'12"E) ( Fig. 2 View Figure 2 ). Both locations are about 230 km apart from each other. Since the type material was collected in 1866, the original forest cover that existed at this time has largely been destroyed through clearing for agriculture. However, we have examined material from as close to these two locations as possible and found that the Austrochloritis   species found near one (Guy Fawkes) is not identical with that found near the other site (Cowlong) even though they are both similar in external appearance. It is not impossible to identify A. porteri   among these two species based on the diagnosis given in the original description. In order to remove the uncertain identity of Helix porteri Cox, 1866   , to stabilize this taxonomic name and to fix the type locality, we here designate a neotype in accordance with Art. 75 of The Code ( ICZN, 1999) and provide an updated diagnosis.

Hedley (1890) and Pilsbry (1894) published descriptions and figures of the digestive and reproductive anatomy and attributed these to A. porteri   . Hedley’s (1890) material originated from near Brisbane, which is not very close to any of the two original locations. The whereabouts of Pilsbry’s (1894) material have remained uncertain. Stanisic et al. (2010) reported the species to be distributed from SE of Lismore (Victoria Park, NSW) to W of Gold Coast (Springbrook, Qld). This distribution incorporates the second site mentioned in the original description (Cowlong), but not the first. By contrast, the species occurring at the first site, Guy Fawkes Station, has subsequently been described as A. speculoris Shea & Griffiths, 2010   (see below). To conserve the subsequent use of these two species names, we chose the neotype to come from close to site 2 (Cowlong).


Shell ( Fig. 1 View Figure 1 A–C, Fig. 3 View Figure 3 ). Large (D = 14–24 (average 17.8) mm, H = 10–15 (average 12) mm; for n = 34 lots), subglobose to turbinate in shape with a low to moderately raised spire, with on average 4.25 rounded to sub-angulate whorl that increase in diameter, sutures moderately impressed; protoconch sculpture of scattered pustules and rugose pustulose radial ridges; teleoconch sculpture of low irregular growth lines with microsculpture of small crowded pustules, periostracal sculpture of crowded short curved setae, microsculpture of wavy periostracal ridgelets; end of last whorl descending below whorl plane; aperture moderately tilted from axis of coiling, with moderately thickened and reflected white outer lip with sulcus behind, columella slope about 45°; umbilicus narrow and partially covered by reflected columella, V-shaped in profile; shell colour from pale reddish brown to dark reddish brown, with or without a narrow reddish brown spiral colour band at whorl periphery.

General anatomy. A retractable head wart is present at the inner bases of the ocular tentacles.Animal head-foot dark grey.

Reproductive anatomy ( Fig. 4 View Figure 4 ). Penis cylindrical, no penial sheath, inner penial wall with corrugated interlocking longitudinal pilasters, distally giving rise to longitudinal rows of interlocking pilasters; epiphallus cylindrical, about 1.5 to 2 times as long as penis, distal end with well-developed epiphallic flagellum, broad at base, epiphallus tapering to very narrow toward apex, opening into penial lumen through a conical longitudinally grooved (Victoria Park and Binna Burra; Figs4 D,F View Figure 4 ) to pustulose (Mt Warning; Fig. 4 E View Figure 4 ), free verge, opening laterally; penial retractor attached to midepiphallus; vas deferens entering head of epiphallus through single pore just below base of epiphallic flagellum; vas deferens quite broad at its junction with apex of epiphallus but later tapering to a narrow tubule; vagina cylindrical, twice as long as penis, inner wall with prominent longitudinal anastomising pilasters usually thickened around vaginal entrance; free oviduct very short; bursa copulatrix long and broad, particularly at its base, folded or kinked several times, about as long as spermoviduct (Victoria Park and Binna Burra; Figs 4A,C View Figure 4 ) to 1.5 times longer (Mt Warning; Fig. 4B View Figure 4 ), with inflated bulb-like head, aligning with base of albumen gland; hermaphroditic duct inserting into head of talon.

Distribution and ecology

Lives in subtropical rainforests from the Richmond River valley of NE NSW north to the upper Nerang Creek valley of SE Qld. Mainly found at altitudes of up to 900 m on basaltic bedrock; found under logs, rocks and inside sheaths of fallen palm leaves ( Fig. 2 View Figure 2 ).


Australian Museum


Queensland Museum


Museum Victoria


Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Zoological Collections)


Forschungsinstitut und Natur-Museum Senckenberg


Natural History Museum, London














Austrochloritis porteri (Cox, 1866)

Shea, Michael & Köhler, Frank 2019

Chloritis (Austrochloritis) porteri

Zilch, A. 1966: 299

Austrochloritis porteri

Stanisic, J. & M. Shea & D. Potter & O. Griffiths 2010: 390
Iredale, T. 1938: 94

Helix porteri

Hedley, C. 1890: 249