Kingdom Animalia- Organisms in the Kingdom Animalia, also known as Metazoa, are multi-celluar and heterotrophic, meaning they must consume their food. Animals are able to move around at some stage in their life, and they are able to respond to environmental stimuli. Their cells do not have cell walls and need ATP, water, glucose, oxygen, and a specific pH. (Hickman et. al, 2009)
Phylum Mollusca- Mollusk animals have three distinct characteristics: a mantle, visceral mass, radula, and muscular foot. The mantle is a layer of skin that contains gills or lungs for respiration and builds a shell for protection. The visceral mass is the edible part because it contains all of the organs and gills. The foot is used for locomotion; the radula is an organ for acquiring food. It will scratch rocks for bacteria, algae, and detritus or puncture live prey. (Hickman et. al, 2009)
Class Gastropoda- The gastropods are distinguished as the largest mollusk group. Most of the gastropods have one swirled shell with an operculum. The operculum is a solid shield that fits over the entrance to the shell. Oftentimes the snails will pull themselves into the shell and close the operculum for protection. (Hickman et. al; 2009)
Subclass Prosobranchia- Prosobranchs are characterized by a shell, operculum, and a single gill, the ctenidium, in the mantle cavity. The ctenidium is used for respiration, and it has three-sided plates that enable oxygen to diffuse from water to blood.  (Hickman et. al, 2009; Thorp and Covich, 1820)
Order Architaenioglossa- These snails do not get larger than 10 mm and have a shell with 4 whorls. They enjoy slow or still water bodies with plenty of aquatic vegetation to feed on. (Hawking et. al, 2011)
Family Viviparidae- Snails in this family are commonly known as “mystery snails”, and they have a broad diet of decomposing matter, suspended particles, and algae (Kohl).

Genus Viviparus- Viviparus comes from the latin word vivus which means alive. These snails all give birth to eggless, live young (Browne, 1978).

Species Viviparus georgianus: This snail is unlike other species within the same genus because it has a banded shell, hence the common name.