Inflectarius verus

Habitat by Mark Ekiss

This is an image which shows the global distribution of the land snail. Notice how I. verus has only been found in the Great Smokey Mountains, leading people to believe that it may be an endemic species.

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Throughout the United States and across the world. terrestrial and aquatic snails have been the focus of many research projects. However, there has only been a handful of studies on Inflectarius verus, most of which Photo taken by Mark Ekisspertain to the general location of the gastropod. Further funding and research need to be done to obtain a more complete understanding of I. verus, but before that happens it can be assumed that the species takes on similar roles and ecological niches as other related Polygyridae and gastropods.

There are about 160 Polygyridae in the eastern U.S., which constitute about 30% of all land mollusks (Steensma et al. 2009). Inflectarius verus is know to reside in the eastern part of the U.S., around North Carolina and the Great Smokey Mountains in areas of elevation of up to 3500 ft (Dourson, 2006). Since this is the only location that I. verus has been found, it is considered to be an endemic species. Like other Polygyridae, I. verus live in moist, mixed hardwood forests, and they prefer rock talus slopes (Dourson, 2006). They have been found in leaf litter, perhaps feeding on fungal mycelia, around logs or rocks and in mossy areas (Steensma et al. 2009). These areas provide the species with a constant source of water, moisture, food, shelter, and in wintertime, insulation throughout their dormant hibernation. However, there have been no findings of I. verus elsewhere in the U.S., which could make the species endemic to the Great Smokey Mountains and a reason for it being a species of 'Special Concern' in North Carolina (Dourson, 2006). Land snails have a variety of habitat requirements and are very susceptible to environmental fluctuations and habitat disturbance, such as that from human activity (Krool, 2003). Studies in various habitats have demonstrated that terrestrial gastropods, such as I. verus may serve as indicator species for ecosystems (Steensma et al. 2009). Further understanding their role in the environment and their interactions with other organisms will deepen the understanding of the entire ecosystem in which they live.


Now that you've seen where they live, let's find discover some key Adaptations they have made to become so successful.

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