Domain: Eukarya     

       Kingdom: Animalia               

             Phylum: Mollusca                    

                   Class: Gastropoda                       

                         Order: Stylommatophora                            

                               Family: Polygyridae                               

                                     Genus: Patera                                   

                                           Species: laevior

                                                 Common name: smooth bladetooth

Domain Eukarya: Members that are part of the Domain Eukarya, such as Patera laevior, have membrane bound organelles and a true nucleus, which contains DNA (Hickman et at., 2009). The Domain Eukarya is much more complex than the other two members in the domain, Bacteria and Archaea, and is able to form multi-celled organisms (Hickman et at., 2009).

Kingdom Animalia: Organisms that are found within the Kingdom Animalia are often referred to as multicellular heterotrophs, heterotrophs meaning they can not produce their own food and rely on other material and organisms to do so (Hickman et al., 2009).  These organisms are typically able to move around their environment and share the trait of lacking a cell wall (Hickman et al., 2009).

Phylum Mollusca: Members from this group include, but is not limited to, species such as chitons, snails, clams, octopus, and squid (Hickman et al., 2009) A significant characteristic that these molluscs share is a cavity filled with fluid that acts as a skeleton for support and holds the internal organs; this is called the coelom (Hickman et al., 2009). Molluscs usually have a hard outer shell that protects the soft inner body from predators and the environment; they are also bilaterally symmetrical (Hickman et al., 2009). 

Class Gastropoda: Gastropods are different from other molluscs because they undergo a clockwise 180˚ twisting, called torsion, that brings the anus to a position  directly over the head (Gillis, 2012). Their body plan is asymmetrical and typically in a coiled shell; they also possess a well developed head, foot used for locomotion, and radula that is used for rasping food (Hickman et al.,2009).

Order Stylommatophora:  Members of the order Stylommatophora at terrestrial organisms that have eyes that are situated on the ends of their tentacles (, 2012). Members of this order include common land snails such as Patera laevior (, 2012).

Family Polygyridae: Family Polygyridae contains a large number of land snails in North America (Dourson, 2010). Members of this family are different from others in that they have a strong reflected outer lip and spaced growth lines on each side of the shell  (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012).  Members of this family include air-breathing land snails that have lost their dart apparatus (an apparatus used during the mating process) and have retractable eye muscles (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012).

Genus Patera: Genus Patera is unique in that species in this Genus have heliciform shells that are spiral and flattened in shape (Dourson, 2010). All Patera shells reveal reflected lips in the adult stages and display a large parietal tooth (Dourson, 2010). Despite the fact that most are plain in color, they have beautiful form and micro-sculpture (shell surface shapes and textures) that can be seen under a strong microscope lens (Dourson, 2010).

Species Patera laevior: This specific species, Patera laevior, has a depressed heliciform shell, a reflected lip, large parietal tooth, and thin spiral lines on both the surface and base of the shell (Dourson, 2010). Patera laevior are typically 16-18mm in diameter and are most commonly found around the southeastern part of the United States (Dourson, 2010).


Learn about Habitat