Millerelix fatigiata











Common Name: Bluegrass Liptooth


Domain             Eukaryota
Kingdom           Animalia
Phylum              Mollusca
Class                 Gastropoda
Order                Stylommatophora
Family               Polygyridae
Genus                Millerelix
Species              Millerelix fatigiata (Say, 1829)

Taxonomy information from Animal Diversity Web.


Before its current classification, Millerelix fatigiata was originally classified in 1829 by Thomas Say as Polygyra fatigiata and also referred to by its synonym name Helix fatigiata (Bland, Cooper 1862) - Helix being Greek for “spiral” (Arnobrosi). According to Bland and Cooper's Papers on North American Helicidæ and on the Geographical Distribution of West India Land Shells, the species epithet fatigiata was actually a misspelling by Say of the Latin word fastigiata, which means “clustered” (PlantzAfrica). Its common name stems from the habitat where this snail is found ("Bluegrass" as it is from Tennessee) and its shell ("liptooth").

Other members this genus include Millerelix deltoidea, Millerelix dorfeuilliana, Millerelix gracilis, Millerelix jacksoni, Millerelix lithica, Millerelix mooreana, Millerelix peregrine, Millerelix plicata, Millerelix simpsoni, and Millerelix troostiana (Animal Diversity Web). All species of Millerelix are found within the family Polygyridae, which is comprised of air-breathing terrestrial snails. Belonging to the order Stylommatophora, they are also characterized by the presence of four tentacles that can retract and by the presence of a pedal gland found underneath a membrane. (Encyclodpedia of Life). Most are terrestrial, and some (such as slugs) have no shell (Textbook of Zoology).

Stylommatophora is found within the class Gastropoda, which contains a large number of terrestrial and aquatic snails and slugs ranging in size microscopic to very large species, rivaled in number only by the insects. The phylum Mollusca this class belongs to is just as diverse, containing over 80,000 currently living species – from snails and slugs to squids, octopuses and cuddlefish (ZipcodeZoo).

The kingdom Animalia (also known as Metazoa) consists of organisms that are multicelllular, heterotrophic, and lack cell walls. This differentiates them from plants and fungi, as plants are autotrophic and both plants and fungi have cell walls. Similarly, the domain Eukaryota is distinguished from the other domains by the presence of membrane-bound organelles such as a nucleus within the cell, which are lacking in Archaea and Bacteria (Hickman et. al. 2011).


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