Did You Know...?   


While researching Gastrocopta abbreviata, some rare information caught my eye.  These interesting features are all unique to the the Plains Snaggletooth and some of its close relatives. 

Commonly, terrestrial land snails are monoecious but many also copulate with an individual of the opposite sex in order to produce offspring.  This phenomenon necessitates an appendage of intermission; however, members of the Genus Gastrocopta lack a penis (Nordsiek, 2010).  In addition, the vagina of these snails is very short, however, the epiphallus is very distinct.  Lastly, this genus is unique in the respect that the spermathecal is quite long in comparison to other terrestrial snail species (Pilsbry, 1948). 
The possession of a radula is a defining characteristic of all Gastropods: this structure is always equipped with numerous, minute chitinous teeth that sit on the surface of the radula and aid in scraping and cutting food prior to it entering the esophagus.  Specifically for the genus Gastrocopta, it is tricuspids that are the specific teeth found in the center of the radula.  These central teeth are significantly narrower than the bicuspid laterals (Pilsbry, 1948).

Another intriguing piece of information found regarded the distinct way this genus moves.  It is said that these snails achieve locomotion  by the use of their muscular foot and they use a rhythmic movement.  In Gastrocopta armifera, which is a close relative to G. abbreviata, it has been observed that approximately 4 waves are visible simultaneously during movement (Pilsbry, 1948).

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