Neohelix solemi (Coastal Whitelip)


Adaptation is a major part of the survival of land snails, there have been numerous amounts of adaptations that have led Neohelix solemi where they are today. Described in this section are a few ways the N. solemi adapted to their environment. Due to the lack of information specific to the snail N. solemi, adaptations from other taxonomic levels will be looked at.  

            You can find snails almost everywhere, but the N. solemi who are woodland snails, inhabit eastern United States. In his major work on land snails, Burch states that they favor habitats that offer shelter, have adequate moisture, and an abundant food supply, snails also fancy a place with lime. Land snails are nocturnal creatures for the most part unless they are rained out of their hiding places and may come out during the day (Burch).

            Land snails adapt to the sun by finding hiding places, these hiding places include various dark and damp areas. According to Burch, land snails are well suited to adapt to harsh environmental conditions, such as drought. Land snails are well suited because they can cover the opening of their shells with something called an operculum, which is a mucous layer, that hardens and prevents them from drying out and withering to death (Burch).  

            Land snails have also adapted to their predators and made special accommodations to prevent being lunch, specifically from Cychrine beetles. According to Dourson, most species contain elaborate arrangement of what looks like teeth within the structure of their shell, protecting them from these predator beetles.

            Another essential adaptation is the loss of gills that initiated the formation of air-breathing lungs from within the shell of the snail. The opening to the respiratory system in the terrestrial land snail looks like a small hole in the shell and is called the pneumostome (Perez, 2012).

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