The Patera laevior is hermaphroditic, or monogenic, like all gastropods (Hickman et al., 2009). This means that the snail has both male and female genitalia (Gillis, 2012).

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Asexual reproduction has one major problem, there is no genetic variation possible among the population (Hickman et al., 2009). The only possible genetic variation possible is through mutation (Hickman et al., 2009). This can make it hard to adapt if the environment were to change around the snails, potentially leading to extinction (Hickman et al., 2009). However, sexual reproduction can also have it set backs, if there is no mating then the population will die off (Hickman et al., 2009).

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Being a really slow animal, it is possible that they won't meet another member of their species during their lifetime (Hickman et al., 2009). That's why it is so advantageous for snails to be hermaphroditic, if they don't meet a mate in they're lifetime, they can fertilize themselves and keep their lineage alive until a time that they can mate (Hickman et al., 2009). When snails do mate, they take full advantage of their monogenic nature and act both as a male and as a female (Hickman et al., 2009). This allows for the greatest amount of offspring per mating and, in addition, allows for the greatest genetic variation possible (Hickman et al., 2009).



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