There is little know about how Patera leatherwoodi reproduces or its exact lifecycle, but this section with provide some basic information about how snails go through reproduction.  First of all snails are animals that can be dioecious or monoecious, meaning that they either have two individual sexes or they are hermaphroditic (Hickman, et al., 2012).  As in the case of Patera leatherwoodi, which are terrestrial pulmonates, are hermaphrodites, meaning they have a gonad that does the production of eggs along with the production of the sperm (Nordsieck, 2011).  Although the terrestrial pulmonates are hermaphroditic they are not all capable of asexual reproduction, or self-fertilization, but most are capable of doing so (Nordsieck, 2011).  Robert Nordsieck mentions some different ways that self-fertilization is not possible for some species of the terrestrial pulmonates.  One reason he describes is that the sperm and eggs develop at different times, insuring that one snail cannot fertilize its own eggs.  Another reason he mentions is a sheath like covering that does not all the sperm to reach the eggs that are within itself (Nordsieck, 2011).  The snails that undergo sexual reproduction have specific mating habits.

Mating Habits

Snails possess different styles of mating, mostly depending on the environment that they live in.  Aquatic snails most often use the water to their advantage as a medium for the sperm to swim towards the female’s genital area on their own accord (Nordsieck, 2011).  The terrestrial pulmonate snails do the act of mating and fertilization in a slightly different way, because they possess both sexual organs these snails can act solely as a male and female, or act as both simultaneously (Nordsieck, 2011).  The sperm for terrestrial pulmonates is transferred by a spermatophore, which is a little packet that is specially built for the sperm transfer (Nordsieck, 2012).

Life Cycle

Robert Nordsieck also mentions the process of how the snail’s gametes first develop.  Once the egg is fertilized, it begins to developing into a larval stage.  In aquatic snails these larvae, known as veliger larva, are free swimming; they then will develop into a juvenile snail.  The Juvenile snail is only slightly different from the adult for having a soft slightly clear shell, as well as immature genital organs.  The Juvenile snail will soon collect lime to allow its shell to gain strength by hardening.  This lifecycle differs from the terrestrial pulmonates for they live on land and cannot allow for the development of a free swimming larva.  These larva stages are still present but they take place within the egg, which will then hatch a juvenile snail (Nordsieck, 2011).


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