Domain:  Eukarya
Eukaryotic cells contain membrane-bound organelles, and genetic information is enclosed within a nuclear envelope.

Kingdom:  Animalia/Metazoa  
These organisms are multicellular and heterotrophic, meaning that they require consumption of other organisms for nutrition.

Phylum:  Mollusca
This is a very diverse group of organisms, including octupuses, mussels, snails, cuttlefish, and chitons.  Molluscs have a coelom (fluid-filled cavity within the mesoderm), a soft body with a “head” and “foot” region, and often a hard covering or shell over their bodies (Hickman et al., 2009).

Class:  Gastropoda
This diverse taxa contains marine, freshwater, and terrestrial slugs and snails.  This class comprises about eighty percent of living molluscs (UCMP, 2011).  Gastropods are characterized by a single, often coiled shell that has been lost by several slug groups.  They have a well-developed head, and many species have undergone torsion (UCMP, 2011).

Order:  Stylommatophora  
Terrestrial snails and slugs that are adapted to breathe air comprise this taxon, which includes four-fifths of all land snails (Wade, et al., 2001).

Family:  Zonitidae
These are true glass snails, with mostly glassy and translucent shells (Nordseick, 2011).

Genus:  Zonitoides
Zonitoides is a taxon of small, air-breathing land snails, specifically with flattened, umbilicated shells.   Zonitoides species have been located throughout the United States (all states but Nevada), most provinces of Canada, eastern and northern Asia, and parts of Europe (White-McLean, 2011).  Besides Zonitoides limatulus, other species in this genus include Z. elliotti, Z. aboreus, Z. excavatus, Z. jaccetanicus, Z. nitidus, and Z. sepultus (Encyclopedia of Life, 2011).

Z. aboreus and Z. nitidus are species within this genus that have been more widely studied and published. 

Species:  Zonitoides limatulus
Commonly referred to as Dull Gloss, this snail has a dull whitish colored shell of 4.3 to 5 mm wide (Wisconsin DNR, 2011). Z. limatulus has little research published on its behalf, in comparison to more common Zonitoides species such as Z. arboreus and Z. nitidus.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roy Anderson, MolluscIreland.

Pictured above:  Zonitoides arboreus, the quick gloss snail.

Photo courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Life 
Zonitoides nitidus, the black gloss snail shown above, is a close relative of Z. limatulus. 

Photo courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Life.
Zonitoides elliotti
also has characteristics that are very similar to the dull gloss snail.

Learn how to distinguish Z. limatulus from similar snails by its Physical Appearance.

Classification information recovered from the Encyclopedia of Life, 2011 and Hickman, et al., 2009.