Inflectarius rugeli is hermaphroditic

Land snails are hermaphrodites. In other words, every snail has both male and female reproductive organs. This term is commonly associated with animals that live in a habitat or an ecological situation in which they are confronted by difficulties in reproducing (Wilbur, 1964). Therefore, hermaphroditism has been favored by natural selection as a manner in which to ease the process of reproduction by the adaptation of this ambisexual state (Wilbur, 1964). Inflectarius rugeli conforms to this descriptions as it is restricted by environmental factors to have limited activity.

Snail diagram showing hermaphroditic characteristics of snails  used from Wikipedia
This diagram demonstrates the hermaphroditic characteristics as it has both reproductive organs

Self-fertilization of Inflectarius rugeli

Self-fertilization is a common phenomenon in Stylommatophora, with the frequency varying greatly among species. It is sufficiently uncommon for individuals to meet for copulation that from the point of view of natural selection, cross fertilization of two hermaphrodites is significantly more efficient (Wilbur, 1964). The process of self-fertilization may be direct or brought about by the union of an egg and sperm from the same gonad as both travel down the genital duct (Wilbur, 1964). Or it can be indirect as it is effected by a process of self-copulation; when the penis is thrust into the female duct of the same animal to discharge spermatozoa (Wilbur, 1964). However, it is difficult to know whether instances of self-fertilization also involved self- copulation.

Courtship and Copulation

Inflectarius rugeli also undergoes copulation. Copulation is preceded by a period of courtship which may last 2 hours or more in terrestrial pulmonates (Wilbur, 1964). In the majority of hermaphrodites such as stylommatophoran pulmonates, copulation is reciprocal (Wilbur, 1964). Two animals come together and face opposite directions, approximating the genital apertures on the right side. This is often preceded by a preliminary recognition when the partners creep round another (Wilbur, 1964).

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