My, What a Nice Shell You Have...


In the book Blackland prairies of the Gulf coastal plain: nature, culture, and sustainability, written by Evan Peacock and Timothy Schauwecker (2003), present the attributes of G. abbreviata by comparing it to Gastrocopta armifera, a more commonly studied snail species that is similar in form to Gastrocopta abbreviata. 

Gastrocopta armifera

This snail species is characterized by the possession of a ovate-conic shaped shell in addition to a reflected lip.  This structure is also distinguished by having six and one-half to seven and one-half whorls.  In the opening of the shell there are multiple, large tooth-like structures called denticles.  In this species the column-like lamella is well-developed, while the angle-like lamella joins with the parietal.  Although there is evidence of division of the angulo-parietal lamella, it does not completely separate into two equal parts.  G. armifera also possesses a lower palatal and a smaller, upper palatal fold.  The size of these denticles may vary, however, these structures are constantly present.  This species ranges between 3 and 4.8 millimeters (Peacock and Schauwecker, 2003).

Now, we can now move on to our species of interest.

Gastrocopta abbreviata

This little snail mirrors the build of G. armifera and even possesses teeth like its relative; however, Gastrocopta abbreviata has shorter column-like lamella and its basal fold is more pronounced.  The size of Gastrocopta abbreviata falls within the range characteristic of Gastrocopta armifera also, measuring 3.3-4.2 mm in length (Peacock and Schauwecker, 2003).

In addition to the mentioned characteristics, G. abbreviata, as well as the other members of the genus Gastrocopta, have undergone various changes in their morphology which make them all the more interesting to study.  To see what I mean, take a look at my Interesting facts page.

 Otherwise, click here to move on and find out about the habitat characteristic of Gastrocopta abbreviata.  If you would like to return to the homepage, click here.