Euchemotrema leai (A. Binney, 1841)
Lowland Pillsnail


Domain: Eukaryota

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Gastropoda

Order: Stylommatophora

Superfamily: Helicoidea

Family: Polygyridae

Genus: Euchemotrema

Species: leai


Domain: “Eukaryote” being Greek for good, it is a member of the domain Eukaryota because it has a membrane-bound nucleus or nuclei containing genetic material and does not categorize into the domain Prokaryota (Global Biodiversity Information Facility 2007).

Kingdom: “Animal” comes from the Latin word animale meaning vital breath or soul.  Of the main kingdoms of Plantae, Protista, Animalia, and Fungi, Euchemotrema leai pertains to the kingdom Animalia.  It is a multicellular, heterotrophic organism that digests its food in an internal body chamber.  This differentiates it from bacteria, protists, plants and fungi.  It also lacks a cell wall common in most autotrophs and forms a blastula stage which is unique only to animals (Global Biodiversity Information Facility 2007).

Phylum: Mollusc originated from the Latin molluscus meaning soft.  A member of the Phylum Mollusca because of a few defining characteristics: a muscular foot on the underside of the organism which can be specialized for different uses, a mantle containing a mantle cavity on the dorsal side of the body that also secretes a protective and supportive shell, and a radula bearing multiple rows of chitinous teeth used for scraping and tearing of food (Global Biodiversity Information Facility 2007).

Class: From the Greek word gaster meaning belly and  podos  meaning foot, this Lowland Pillsnail has a muscular foot on its underside used for attachment and locomotion.  It also contains a single, complete shell that is coiled.  Another known common behavior is the process of torsion in which the visceral mass goes through a 180 degree turn during development placing the anus in close proximity of the mouth (Global Biodiversity Information Facility 2007).

Order: Stylommatophora from stylos meaning pillar contains the majority of land snails and slugs.  It is a taxon of air-breathing terrestrial gastropods that do not possess a gill but rather use their mantle as an air-breathing lung.  They also have a long pedal gland along with two pairs of retractable, sensory tentacles (Global Biodiversity Information Facility 2007).

Superfamily: Euchemotrema leai is a member of the superfamily Helicoidea because it is a terrestrial, pulmonate gastropod that can breathe air (Global Biodiversity Information Facility 2007).

Family: Polygyridae from the Latin  poly+gyros means many whorled.  They have coiled shells containing many whorls, a ribbed jaw, retractable eyes and pharynx that are attached to muscles forming a single band, haploid chromosomes numbering from 26 to 35 as well as no dart apparatus used in reproduction (Global Biodiversity Information Facility 2007).

Genus: As a member of Euchemotrema, it is part of a genus of small, air-breathing, terrestrial snails that possess brown shells with a velvety surface.  Similar to the genus Stenotrema but without a basal notch and an interdenticular sinus (Global Biodiversity Information Facility 2007).

Species: Euchemotrema possesses a conspicuous epiphallus bearing a minuscule flagellum on the floor of the genital chamber (Webb 1950). 

Scientific Name: Euchemotrema leai

Aside from the common name of the Lowland Pillsnail, this snail may also be referred to using the genus name Stenotrema because it was not until recently that the genus Euchemotrema was formed.  For this reason, other names of subspecies such as Euchemotrema leai leai, Euchemotrema leai aliciae or Stenotrema leai leai, Stenotrema leai aliciae may be used (Perez 2011).   


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