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Habitat type: terrestrial

Gastrocopta abbreviata inhabitats mainly the central and western plains of the United States; more specifically, this organism can be found under stones, within loess bank fissures, and in thin litter concentrations in riparian forests and grasslands within these regions.  However, as we turn to examine the members of this species that dwell further to the east, we find that their environment contrasts significantly to their Western siblings: they inhabit drier environments, like those associated with bedrock outcrops or sand deposits (Nekola and Coles, 2010).  Although the presented information seems to contradict itself, the reason for this species' change in habitat preference is due to the increased humidity that is characteristic of the Eastern region of the U.S.  For this reason, it is not necessary for the snail to remain as close to water which enables it to venture further inland and survive these drier environments.


Specific states within the continental United States in which G. abbreviata has been found include: Alabama, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin (Hubricht, 1972).


However, Gastrocopta abbreviata is not the only creature that has taken a liking to these particular habitats.  In fact, it has been found that this species frequently co-exists with Gastrocopta armifera and Gastrocopta similis; however, intermediate individuals never result from this overlap in habitat (NatureServe, 2011).

A possible reason that Gastrocopta abbreviata does not appear in other areas of the U.S. may simply be due to certain barriers that impede Gastrocopta abbreviata from further dispersal.  A few examples of barriers that directly affect G. abbreviata include: permanent bodies of water that are larger than 30 meters in width, permanently frozen areas (e.g. mountaintop glaciers), or exceptionally dry environments that receive less than six inches of precipitation a year (NatureServe, 2011).

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