Cochlicopa morseana (Appalachian Pillar)


Domain: Eukarya
    Kingdom: Animalia
        Phylum: Mollusca
            Class: Gastropoda
                Order: Stylommatophora
                    Suborder: Orthurethra
                        Family: Cochlicopoidae
                            Genus: Cochlicopa
                                 Species: Cochlicopa morseana (Doherty 1878)
                                            (Encyclopedia of life.2001)

snail 1

     The Classification for the Cochlicopa morseana (Doherty 1878) comes from a man by the name of William Doherty in the year 1878 (Verdcout 1992). This species is secretive, and is hard to find and study (Hubricht 1985).  The common name for this mysterious snail is the Appalachian Pillar (Hubricht 1985).  There is not too much information explaining why the common name is Appalachian Pillar.  The term Appalachian could be due to it's location when it was discovered in 1878 (Rouse 1923).  And it is a pillar snail because it fits the description of a pillar snail.  This all deals with the classification of this species. 
Cochlicopa morseana (Doherty 1878) is written in Latin, like most species identification.  We can use the Latin/Greek roots to figure out how our the snail became called what it is. The root "cochlea" means snail shell, and "mor" means fool, manner, or custom (Bloom 2007).  Putting these terms together would create "custom shell". All Mollusca have unique shells, but cochlicopa morseana (Doherty 1878) must have been extra unique to see at the time, and so was given the "custom shell" name.
While looking at the nine terms of the classification of this snail, it is hard to believe that such a small animal need all this taxonomy.  But upon looking at why each taxonomic level is  what it is, the taxonomy begins to make sense. The Domain, our widest category, is Eukarya which means that the species will have membrane bound organelles and nucleaus (Nordsiek 2009).  Animalia, the Kingdom, means that it is multi-cellular, has true tissue, and is heterotrophic (Nordsiek 2009).  The Phylum, Mollusca, infers that the animal is a soft bodied coelomate, has a mantle cavity that houses the lungs or gills, and it secretes a shell.  Mollusca are also unique in the fact that they have a radula to scrap and pull apart their prey (Hickman 2009). Gastropoda is our snails class.  This means that the mantle cavity has turned into a pulmonary   sac and there are no longer gills, but instead lungs (Nordsiek 2009).  the order, Stylommatophora, implies that the species is a slug or snail (Nordsiek 2009).  The Family we are in is Cochlicopidae, which means the snail has a pillar like shell (Nordsiek 2009).  And this brings us to our last step in the taxonomy ladder.  The Genus and Species is Cochlicopa morseana (Doherty 2009), and like written above, it means "custom shell" (Bloom 2007). 

After digging around at the classification, head over to our snail's habitat.