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This work is concerned with the identification to family and genus level of molluscs living in aquatic habitats beyond the influence of the sea anywhere in mainland Australia, Tasmania and the near continental islands. It does not include Lord Howe or Norfolk Islands or any of the Australian External Territories. It also does not include any of the marginal marine or estuarine species that live in the tidal sections of rivers and streams or terrestrial species living in the moist zone beside aquatic habitats.
This work deals with 15 families of molluscs; 3 bivalves, 7 prosobranch and 5 pulmonate gastropods. An illustrated key to the families of non-marine aquatic molluscs is the central part of this work. Reference is given in this key to the page numbers on which notes to each of the families are to be found. These are intended to give an overview of the family with reference to the relevant key publications to that family and either notes on the Australian genera in that family or a key to the genera where this is thought warranted. Illustrations of some of the members of that family or any key character where these are readily available are given. Most importantly the extent of any deficiencies in knowledge for the family are also detailed.
General thoughts on the overall status of the non-marine aquatic mollusc fauna in Australia is given. A general glossary is included to the various terms encountered in the malacological literature and a list of the publications referred to in this work.