Neohelix dentifera belongs to the Order Pulmonata, meaning they are monoecious (Nordsieck, 2012). Monoecious means hermaphroditic and states they have both male and female sex organs (Cuezzo, 1990). In some land snails self-fertilization is an option such as our closely related friend, of whom we are often confused for, Neohelix albolabris (Pearce and Hotopp, 2012). When land snails of the same species mate, it is quite special. They “find” each other during the right time of year and when proper conditions present themselves (Pearce and Hotopp, 2012).  When two terrestrial snails mate, genetic material is transferred from the donor’s penis to its mate’s vagina (Pearce and Hotopp, 2012). Once the donor’s sperm fertilizes the mate’s egg, the egg passes down the spermoviduct. This duct coats the egg with albumen to nourish and protect the egg (Pearch and Hotopp, 2012). After the egg is ready to leave the mother, she deposits the egg into a nice damp area so the egg does not dry out (Pearce and Hotopp, 2012).

In a fascinating study of the maturating reproductive tracts in Neohelix genus, Maria Gabriala Cuezzo reports; there is a direct relationship between shell health and level of maturity reached in the reproduction tract (Cuezzo, 1990).  Basically if the shell was damaged or not whole the reproduction tract was “immature” , aka not fully developed.

Terrestrial snails have terrible vision and usually live in dark environments (Pearce and Hotopp, 2012). To combat this obvious disadvantage they have developed strong chemical receptors in their antennae (Pearce and Hotopp, 2012). The snail also uses sensitive touch receptors in its head and foot (Pearce and Hotopp, 2012). They use these multiple sensory techniques to help find mates during breading times.

Come see some interesting things about snails you did not know before on the Fun Facts page.

Return to Home Page