Common name: Ovate Vertigo

Domain – Eukarya
    Large, complex cells with complex structures enclosed in membranes.

Kingdom – Animalia
    Eukaryotic, mostly multicellular organisms. Almost are all heterotrophic and lack cell walls.

Phylum – Mollusca
    The second largest invertebrate phylum. Organisms in this phylum are characterized by a head, a visceral mass, and a muscular, ventral foot.  Most molluscs posses an open circulatory system with hemolymph (blood). Molluscs also have a pair of nephridia, which serve to remove excess water and waste from the body, much like a kidney (Gillis, 2011).

Class – Gastropoda
    Largest, most diverse group of molluscs, where V. ovata and other snails fall. Characteristics of this group include torsion, which is a 180 degree twisting of the visceral mass. This brings the anus to the same area as the mouth of the gastropod, which can cause fouling. Many gastropods have adaptations for eliminating fouling. Gastropods are also equipped with a radula, a rough structure on the outside of the mouth, generally used for scraping food off of a substrate (Gillis, 2011).

Order – Stylommatophora
    Air-breathing, terrestrial land snails and slugs.

Family – Pupillidae
    Minute, air-breathing land snails.

Genus – Vertigo
    An ovate (egg-shaped) shell with 5-6 whorls. Members of the genus Vertigo have only one pair of tentacles and teeth around their peristome for protection from predation.

Species – ovata               
    Named for the particularly round, egg-shaped shell.


To see where V. ovata lives, click here!