The Armed Snaggletooth (Gastrocopta armifera)


Domain: Eukarya
Gastrocopta Armifera is classified as a Eukarya for having cells with a nucleus containing DNA

Kingdom: Animalia
Gastrocopta Armifera is classified as an Animal because it is a heterotrophic organism that is made out of Eukaryotic cells.

Phylum: Mollusca
Gastrocopta Armifera is classified as a Gastropod because it is triploblastic and a has a coelom that is derived from the mesoderm. It also has a soft-body with a mantle, visceral mass, and muscular foot typical of the phylum (California, 2011).

Class: Gastropoda
Gastrocopta armifera is classified as a Gastropod because it has torsion, or a 180degree turning in the visceral mass. It also has coiling of its shell, which is typical of the Class.

Order: Stylommatophora
Gastrocopta armifera is classified as a Stylommatophora because it is an air-breathing snail. Slugs also occupy the order, with the synapomorphy of a long pedal gland beneath a membrane and tentacles that can retract (Mordan, 2006).

Family: Vertiginidae
Gastrocopta armifera, like all others in the family, have a small to minute shell that is usually pupa-shaped with an aperture that usually contains many teeth or lamellae (Burch, 1962).

Genus: Gastrocopta
Gastrocopta armifera is classified as a Gastrocopta because it is parietal; species in the Genus Gastrocopta have angular lamellae converging inwards that are more or less united (Burch, 1962).

Species: Gastrocopta armifera
Gastrocopta armifera is a minute, air breathing, terrestrial land snail found in many areas over the US. Although quite large for its Genus, G. armifera is relatively small compared to other more commonly known snails, measuring only 5mm long. G. armifera is characterized by a whitish shell, reflected lip (or peristome) and a complex pattern of denticles (or lamellae) at its aperture (Carnegie, 2011).

G. armifera recieves its common name, The Armed Snaggletooth, for its somewhat hefty shell and noticeable lamellae (teeth) around its aperture. The scientific name contains the following latin roots: gastro meaning "stomach, and copta meaning "a cut or slice". The latin roots found in the Phylum and Class name also roughly describe the species; Mulluscus meaning "soft" describes the soft body of G. armifera, gaster meaning "belly" and podos meaning "foot" describes the "belly-foot" characteristic of the Gastropods (Martin, 2000).

Click here to see the Habitat of G. armifera