Pomatiopsis lapidaria

Nutrition

     Pomatiopsis lapidaria must behave differently depending on the time of the year in order to obtain and conserve its food.  The slender walker feeds on organic matter that has been partially decayed (DeWitt, 1952).  The organic material is dislodged using its coarse radula and then ingested (DeWitt, 1952).  However, this requires a fair amount of energy.  This restricts its feeding to favorable weather conditions.  It cannot feed during the winter or warm, dry periods, and therefore must find a way to limit energy expenditure during this season (Dundee, 1957). 

     Pomatiopsis lapidaria has adapted in order to conserve energy during non-feeding times.  It has developed a shell and operculum for this task (Dundee, 1957).  During unfavorable weather conditions, it retreats back into its shell (Dundee, 1957).  The operculum is a covering at the entrance of the shell that is shut when the snail retracts into its shell (Dundee, 1957).  Retreating into the shell helps the snail conserve moisture and energy, and protect itself from other animals (Dundee, 1957).

 

  Copyright Iain Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence (forest floor with decomposing leaf litter)