Since the information on our species, Fumonelix archeri, is relatively limited, we can look to other gastropods, especially pulmonates, to find out how they obtain nutrients.


The main feeding mechanism utilized by class Gastropoda is the chitinous radula, as seen on the Adaptation page. The radula is a rasping organ used for scraping, tearing, or drilling into prey (Hickman et al, 2009). The snail's radula can scrape food off of the substrate, and it can also carry the food particles to the mouth (Hickman et al, 2009). It is said that if one listens closely, the barely audible "chomping" of snails on their food can be heard; but having knowledge of the radula, we know what is actually being heard is the snail's radula scraping food and breaking it apart (Pulmonates, 2010).

There are so many different environments which land snails inhabit, that the foods used by these terrestrial Gastropods are incredibly varied (Barker, 2001). Since Fumonelix archeri live only in Tennessee, their environment is drier than that of some other pulmonates (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2012). Therefore, having a herbivorous diet, they would be expected to feed upon materials such as stems, soft bark, fungi, algae, or other types of plant material available (Pulmonates, 2010).

Once pulmonates like Fumonelix archeri ingest their food, ciliary currents move food through the digestive tract to the stomach, where digestion takes place, primarily extracellularly (Pulmonates, 2010). The food is then broken down by enzymes that get secreted by salivary and digestive glands (Mollusca, 2007).

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