We document a case of shell convergence in sympatric freshwater cerithioidean gastropods that has caused confusion in traditional classifications emphasizing shell features. Based on the comparative study of the operculum, radula, and embryonic shell obtained from dry remains of soft bodies, we present evidence that “Melania” pisum is not a thiarid species closely related to Balanocochlis glans (Busch, 1842), as has been supposed with respect to the very similar shells of both species. The species is transferred to the family Pachychilidae, because it shows various typical character states for the family. It is tentatively placed within the genus Sulcospira, which is endemic to Java. We assume that a similar shell shape has evolved in both species of not closely related gastropods through convergence, which once more reveals that purely shell-based classifications are particularly problematic.
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Vol. 50 • No. 1-2