Overview

Distribution

Geographic Range

Gastropods are found worldwide. Gastropods are by far the largest group of molluscs. Their 40,000 species comprise over 80% of living molluscs.

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Gastropods are distributed throughout the ocean, and on land, essentially everywhere except the most extreme polar regions. They occur as far north as Point Barrow, Alaska (USA) at 71°23′20″N (J. Nekola, personal communication, January 17, 2011) and as far south as the sub-Antarctic islands (Solem & van Bruggen, 1984). They do not occur on the Antarctic continent.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Sexual Dimorphism

Females often larger and more robust; dwarf males occur in some parasitic species, where females > 10 times larger than males; males may mature before females and have shorter lifespans. Occasionally foot slightly darker in females.
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Physical Description

The Class Gastropoda includes snails and slugs. Most gastropods have a single, usually spirally coiled shell, but the shell is lost or reduced in some groups. Many snails have an operculum, a plate that closes the gastropod's opening. Shelled gastropods have mantles, while those without shells have reduced to absent mantles.

Gastropods have a muscular foot used for creeping in most species. In some, the foot is modified for swimming or burrowing. Most gastropods have a well-developed head that includes eyes at the end of one to two pairs of tentacles.

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Ecology

Habitat

Gastropods are found in freshwater systems, oceans, and on land wherever there is sufficient moisture.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial ; saltwater or marine ; freshwater

Terrestrial Biomes: chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ; mountains

Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds; rivers and streams; coastal

Wetlands: marsh ; swamp ; bog

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Gastropods, the only mollusks with terrestrial representatives, occur in nearly every habitat type. On land they’re found in wet and dry areas, including deserts; from low to high elevations; from tropical to polar latitudes (as high as there is humic material and leaf litter). Inland aquatic habitats range from puddles to lakes and rivers, fresh to salt water, and include sulfurous hot springs. In the ocean they occupy all habitat types, from deep ocean basins and hydrothermal vent communities to high intertidal splash zones and from warm tropical waters to cold polar seas.

(Ruppert et al., 2004; University of California Museum of Paleontology - The Gastropoda; Griffiths, 2010; J. Nekola, personal communication, January 17, 2011)

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Gastropods feed on very small things. Most of them scrape or brush particles from surfaces of rocks, seaweeds, animals that don't move, and other objects. For feeding, gastropods use a radula, a hard plate that has teeth.

Gastropod feeding habits are extremely varied, although most species make use of a radula in some aspect of their feeding behavior. Some graze, some browse, some feed on plankton, some are scavengers or detritivores, some are active carnivores.

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Associations

Animal / rests in
metacercarial cyst of Brachylaimus fuscatus rests inside Gastropoda

Animal / parasite / endoparasite
tetracotyle larva of Cotylurus cornutus endoparasitises Gastropoda

Animal / parasite / endoparasite
larva of Ravinia pernix endoparasitises Gastropoda

Animal / parasite
Riccardoella limacum parasitises Gastropoda

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Known predators

Gastropoda (gastropoda) is prey of:
Leptasterias
Pisaster
Rana pipiens
Anura
Haplochromis johnstoni
Barbus eurystomus
Haplocrhomis mola
Asteroidea
Actinopterygii
Homo sapiens
Alburnus alburnus
Gomphus
Aythya affinis
Hirudinea
Ambystoma maculatum
Ambystoma laterale
Ambystoma tremblayi
Ambystoma tigrinum
Notophthalmus viridescens
Concholepas concholepas
Sicyases sanguineus
Heliaster helianthus
Larus dominicanus
Clarias gariepinus
Haplochromis darlingi
bleak
Geococcyx californianus
Chondrichthyes
Scombridae
Carangidae
decomposers/microfauna
phytoplankton
organic stuff
benthic autotrophs
Blenniidae
Cheloniidae
Octopus
Cephalopoda
Decapoda
Stomatopoda
Anomura
Gastropoda
Priapula
Polychaeta
Ophiuroidea
Cancer
Brachyura
Echinoidea
Margarops fuscus
Margarops fuscatus
Anolis gingivinus
Anolis pogus

Based on studies in:
USA: Washington (Littoral, Rocky shore)
Canada: Manitoba (Forest)
Malawi, Lake Nyasa (Lake or pond)
USA: Alaska, Aleutian Islands (Coastal)
Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands shelf (Reef)
USA: Iowa, Mississippi River (River)
England, River Thames (River)
USA, Northeastern US contintental shelf (Coastal)
USA: Michigan (Lake or pond)
Chile, central Chile (Littoral, Rocky shore)
Africa, Lake McIlwaine (Lake or pond)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • B. A. Menge and J. P. Sutherland, Species diversity gradients: synthesis of the roles of predation, competition and temporal heterogeneity, Am. Nat. 110(973):351-369, from p. 360 (1976).
  • B. E. Marshall, The fish of Lake McIlwaine. In Lake McIlwaine: the eutrophication and recovery of a tropical man-made lake (J. A. Thornton, Ed.) Vol 49 Monographia Biologicae, D. W. Junk Publishers, The Hague, pp. 156-188, from p. 180 (1982).
  • C. A. Carlson, Summer bottom fauna of the Mississippi River, above Dam 19, Keokuk, Iowa, Ecology 49(1):162-168, from p. 167 (1968).
  • C. A. Simenstad, J. A. Estes, K. W. Kenyon, Aleuts, sea otters, and alternate stable-state communities, Science 200:403-411, from p. 404 (1978).
  • G. Fryer, The trophic interrelationships and ecology of some littoral communities of Lake Nyasa, Proc. London Zool. Soc. 132:153-281, from p. 218 (1959).
  • H. M. Wilbur, Competition, predation, and the structure of the Ambystoma-Rana sylvatica community, Ecology 53:3-21, from p. 14 (1972).
  • J. C. Castilla, Perspectivas de investigacion en estructura y dinamica de communidades intermareales rocosas de Chile Central. II. Depredadores de alto nivel trofico, Medio Ambiente 5(1-2):190-215, from p. 203 (1981).
  • K. H. Mann, Case history: The River Thames. In: River Ecology and Man (R. T. Oglesby, C. A. Carlson, J. A. McCann, Eds.), Academic Press, New York and London, pp. 215-232 (1972), from p. 224.
  • K. H. Mann, R. H. Britton, A. Kowalczewski, T. J. Lack, C. P. Mathews and I. McDonald, Productivity and energy flow at all trophic levels in the River Thames, England. In: Productivity Problems of Freshwaters, Z. Kajak and A. Hillbricht-Ilkowska, Eds. (P
  • Link J (2002) Does food web theory work for marine ecosystems? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 230:1–9
  • Opitz S (1996) Trophic interactions in Caribbean coral reefs. ICLARM Tech Rep 43, Manila, Philippines
  • R. D. Bird, Biotic communities of the Aspen Parkland of central Canada, Ecology, 11:356-442, from p. 393 (1930).
  • R. D. Bird, Biotic communities of the Aspen Parkland of central Canada, Ecology, 11:356-442, from p. 406 (1930).
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Known prey organisms

Gastropoda (gastropoda) preys on:
algae

Cyrtosperma
Pandanus
Artocarpus altilis
Corylus
Pyrola
Cornus
Aralia
Aufwuchs
macroalgae
periphyton
detritus
phytoplankton
epiphytic algae
Cephalopoda
Decapoda
Stomatopoda
Anomura
Isopoda
Amphipoda
Pycnogonidae
Tanaidae
Gastropoda
Scaphopoda
Neoloricata
Priapula
Polychaeta
Ophiuroidea
Hemichordata
Holothuroidea
Echiuroidea
Sipunculidae
Bivalvia
Ectoprocta
Cirripedia
Ascidia
Porifera
Cnidaria
Anthozoa
Ostreoida
leaves

Based on studies in:
USA: Washington (Littoral, Rocky shore)
Polynesia (Reef)
Malawi, Lake Nyasa (Lake or pond)
England, River Thames (River)
Chile, central Chile (Littoral, Rocky shore)
Africa, Lake McIlwaine (Lake or pond)
Canada: Manitoba (Forest)
USA: Alaska, Aleutian Islands (Coastal)
USA: Michigan (Lake or pond)
USA: Iowa, Mississippi River (River)
USA, Northeastern US contintental shelf (Coastal)
Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands shelf (Reef)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • B. A. Menge and J. P. Sutherland, Species diversity gradients: synthesis of the roles of predation, competition and temporal heterogeneity, Am. Nat. 110(973):351-369, from p. 360 (1976).
  • B. E. Marshall, The fish of Lake McIlwaine. In Lake McIlwaine: the eutrophication and recovery of a tropical man-made lake (J. A. Thornton, Ed.) Vol 49 Monographia Biologicae, D. W. Junk Publishers, The Hague, pp. 156-188, from p. 180 (1982).
  • C. A. Carlson, Summer bottom fauna of the Mississippi River, above Dam 19, Keokuk, Iowa, Ecology 49(1):162-168, from p. 167 (1968).
  • C. A. Simenstad, J. A. Estes, K. W. Kenyon, Aleuts, sea otters, and alternate stable-state communities, Science 200:403-411, from p. 404 (1978).
  • G. Fryer, The trophic interrelationships and ecology of some littoral communities of Lake Nyasa, Proc. London Zool. Soc. 132:153-281, from p. 218 (1959).
  • H. M. Wilbur, Competition, predation, and the structure of the Ambystoma-Rana sylvatica community, Ecology 53:3-21, from p. 14 (1972).
  • J. C. Castilla, Perspectivas de investigacion en estructura y dinamica de communidades intermareales rocosas de Chile Central. II. Depredadores de alto nivel trofico, Medio Ambiente 5(1-2):190-215, from p. 203 (1981).
  • K. H. Mann, Case history: The River Thames. In: River Ecology and Man (R. T. Oglesby, C. A. Carlson, J. A. McCann, Eds.), Academic Press, New York and London, pp. 215-232 (1972), from p. 224.
  • K. H. Mann, R. H. Britton, A. Kowalczewski, T. J. Lack, C. P. Mathews and I. McDonald, Productivity and energy flow at all trophic levels in the River Thames, England. In: Productivity Problems of Freshwaters, Z. Kajak and A. Hillbricht-Ilkowska, Eds. (P
  • Link J (2002) Does food web theory work for marine ecosystems? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 230:1–9
  • Opitz S (1996) Trophic interactions in Caribbean coral reefs. ICLARM Tech Rep 43, Manila, Philippines
  • R. D. Bird, Biotic communities of the Aspen Parkland of central Canada, Ecology, 11:356-442, from p. 406 (1930).
  • W. A. Niering, Terrestrial ecology of Kapingamarangi Atoll, Caroline Islands, Ecol. Monogr. 33(2):131-160, from p. 157 (1963).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Development

Gastropods lay eggs. The eggs of some species contain a large yolk. Development of the eggs may be within the body, or the eggs may be expelled to develop externally. Eggs develop into larvae. Those species that will develop a shell start it while larvae. As the animal develops, it adds another curl of shell, ending in an opening from which the head and foot of the animal emerge.

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Reproduction

Gastropods are sexual, and some forms are hermaphroditic, meaning that a single individual can produce both egg and sperm. These individuals will exchange sperm with another individual rather than fertilizing themselves.

Key Reproductive Features: sexual

Parental Investment: no parental involvement

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Classification

The classification of the Gastropoda in three subclasses Prosobranchia, Opisthobranchia and Pulmonata had been set as a standard by Thiele (1929-1931) throughout the XXth century and is still presented in major textbooks (e.g. Brusca & Brusca, 2003). Nowadays the classification of Gastropoda undergoes considerable reorganization in the attempt to bring it as close as possible to a changing phylogenetic hypothesis of the class. There is compelling evidence that Prosobranchia as classically understood is a paraphyletic taxon, and as a consequence it is being progressively abandoned. Even if one would adopt the standards of Evolutionary Systematics and tolerate paraphyletic taxa under some conditions, it would be embarrassing to maintain Prosobranchia at the same taxonomic rank as Opisthobranchia and Pulmonata, which together form a clade (Heterobranchia) which is at large the sister-group of Caenogastropoda (i.e. part of Prosobranchia). The option taken herein is to derive the classification scheme as much as possible from Bouchet & Rocroi (2005, and references therein), with Linnean ranks added. This will be held as “basis of record” for all gastropod taxa even if those were already listed in previous versions of the database. The taxa contained in the former Prosobranchia are distributed in separate subclasses (Patellogastropoda, Vetigastropoda, Cocculiniformia, Neritimorpha and Caenogastropoda) which are all supposed to be monophyletic. This has the incovenience of bringing a small group like the Cocculiniformia at the same rank as the large clade Heterobranchia (including Opisthobranchia + Pulmonata), but on the other hand has the advantage of being cladistically correct and of keeping Caenogastropoda and Heterobranchia at equal rank. Cases departing from the scheme of Bouchet & Rocroi (2005) will be explained in notes on the appropriate taxa. The initial split (Eogastropoda vs. Orthogastropoda) as in Ponder & Lindberg, 1997 is not retained, following Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005: 271 note 14; this because (1) it is challenged in Colgan et al. 2003 and (2) this would add one more rank in the scheme whereas we are already short of ranks in the large clade Heterobranchia.
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Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Shell protects from heat: desert snail
 

The shell of some desert snails helps them survive extreme heat using light reflectance and architecturally-derived, insulating layers of air.

       
  "It will be a surprise to many biologists that snails are found in large numbers on the dry, barren surfaces of certain hot deserts. The present study is concerned with one such snail, Sphincterochila boissieri, which occurs in the deserts of the Near East. Live specimens of this snail, withdrawn in the shell and dormant, can be found on the desert surface in mid-summer, fully exposed to sun and heat. The surface temperature of these deserts may reach 70 °C and more than a year may pass between rains

"The maximum air temperature, reached at noon, was 42.6 °C, and the maximum soil surface temperature in the sun, reached at 13.00, was 65.3 °C. Under the snail, in the space between the soil surface and the smooth shell, the maximum temperature was 60.1 °C, or 5.2 °C below the adjacent soil surface in the open sun. The lower temperature under the shell is expected, for the shell provides shade for that particular spot of the soil surface on which it sits. Inside the shell in the largest whorl, located in contact with the ground, the maximum temperature was 56.2 °C. In the second and third whorls the temperature was lower, reaching a maximum of 50.3 °C.

"It is important that the animal, when withdrawn, does not fill the shell and leaves most of the largest whorl filled with air
The snail, withdrawn to the upper parts of the shell, is significantly cooler

"Why does the snail not heat up to the same temperature as the soil surface? The answer lies in its high reflectivity in combination with the slow conduction of heat from the substrate. Within the visible part of the solar spectrum (which contains about one-half of the total incident solar radiant energy) the reflectance of these snails is about 90%. In the near infrared, up to 1350 nm, the reflectance is similar to that of magnesium oxide and is estimated to be 95%. In the total range of the solar spectrum, therefore, we can say that the snails reflect well over 90% of the incident radiant energy.

"…heat flow, however, is impeded by two important circumstances. Firstly, the snail shell is in direct contact with the rough soil surface only in a few spots, and a layer of still air separates much of its bottom surface from the ground, forming an insulatng [sic] air cushion. Next, and perhaps more important, the snail is withdrawn into the upper parts of the shell and the largest whorl is filled with air; this constitutes a further impediment to heat flow into the snail." (Schmidt-Nielsen et al. 1971:385, 388-9)

  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Islam MR; Schulze-Makuch D. 2007. Adaptations to environmental extremes by multicellular organisms. International Journal of Astrobiology. 6(3): 199-215.
  • Schmidt-Nielsen K; Taylor CR; Shkolnik A. 1971. Desert snails: problems of heat, water and food. Journal of Experimental Biology. 55: 385-398.
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Functional adaptation

Shell is tough armor: golden scale snail
 

The shell of hydrothermal vent snails serves as tough armor thanks to a three-layered structure incorporating iron sulphide granules.

         
  "During the second ever expedition to hydrothermal vents in the Indian Ocean, biologists spotted a snail with a strange-looking foot. Many snails can close the opening to their shell with a flat, round bit of shell called an operculum. But this snail instead protects itself with scales, a feature seen before only in long extinct species, although the vent snail itself evolved recently. Even more unusually, the scales are reinforced with the iron sulphide minerals fool's gold and greigite, giving them a golden colour. No other multicellular animal is known to use these materials." (Schrope 2005:38)

"[T]he snail has evolved a tri-layered shell structure consisting of an  outer layer embedded with iron sulfide granules, a  thick organic middle layer, and a calcified inner layer.  This creates a configuration in which the inner compliant layer is  sandwiched  between two rigid layers.
 
  "Ortiz and her colleagues, including MIT Dean of Engineering  Subra Suresh, used nanoscale experiments and computer modeling to  determine  the shell's structure and mechanical properties. They found  that the unique three-layer structure dissipates mechanical energy,  which  helps the snails fend off attacks from crabs that squeeze  the shell with their claws in an attempt to fracture it. The shell of  the  scaly-foot snail possesses a number of additional energy  dissipation mechanisms compared to typical mollusk shells that are  primarily  composed of calcium carbonate." (Trafton 2010)

  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Schrope, Mark. 2005. Deep sea special: The undiscovered oceans. New Scientist. 188(2525): 36-43.
  • Trafton A. 2010. Iron-plated snail could inspire new armor. MIT News [Internet],
  • Yao H; Dao M; Imholt T; Huang J; Wheeler K; Bonilla A; Suresh S; Ortiz C. 2010. Protection mechanisms of the iron-plated armor of a deep-sea hydrothermal vent gastropod. PNAS. 107(3): 987-992.
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Functional adaptation

Foot aids underwater movement: water snail
 

The foot of water snails helps them move upside down beneath the water's surface by creating small ripples in the mucus-water interface.

   
  "A UC San Diego engineer has revealed a new mode of propulsion based on  how water snails create ripples of slime to crawl upside down beneath  the surface.

"Eric Lauga, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace  engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering, recently published a  paperthat explains how and why water snails can drag themselves across a  fluid surface that they can't even grip.

"Based on Lauga's research, the secret is in the slime. The main finding  of Lauga's research is that soft surfaces, such as the free surface of a  pond or a lake, can be distorted by applying forces; these distortions  can be exploited (by an animal, or in the lab) to generate propulsive  forces and move. Some freshwater and marine snails crawl by 'hanging'  from the water surface while secreting a trail of mucus. The snail's  foot wrinkles into little rippling waves, which produces corresponding  waves in the mucus layer that it secretes between the foot and the air. Parts of the mucus film get squeezed while other parts are stretched,  creating a pressure that pushes the foot forward." (Jacobs School of Engineering News 2008)

Watch Video Here
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • 2008. Ripple effect: water snails offer new propulsion possibilities. Jacobs School of Engineering News [Internet],
  • Lee S; Bush JWM; Hoisoi AE; Lauga E. 2008. Crawling beneath the free surface: water snail locomotion. Physics of Fluids. 20(8): 082106.
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Functional adaptation

Membrane reduces evaporation: land snail
 

A secreted mucus membrane across the opening of the shells of some land snails protects them from drying out by reducing evaporation.

   
  "And certain land snails, particularly desert dwellers, seal themselves inside their shells to avoid desiccation in dry conditions, secreting a special membrane across their shells' opening that reduces evaporation; they can remain encased for years if need be until rain returns." (Shuker 2001:105)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Shuker, KPN. 2001. The Hidden Powers of Animals: Uncovering the Secrets of Nature. London: Marshall Editions Ltd. 240 p.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:73791
Specimens with Sequences:56584
Specimens with Barcodes:49136
Species:8864
Species With Barcodes:6809
Public Records:48070
Public Species:5213
Public BINs:9085
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Barcode data

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Genomic DNA is available from 1 specimen with morphological vouchers housed at National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research
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Genomic DNA is available from 2 specimens with morphological vouchers housed at Florida Museum of Natural History
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Genomic DNA is available from 6 specimens with morphological vouchers housed at Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo
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Genomic DNA is available from 1 specimen with morphological vouchers housed at Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo
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Wikipedia

Wanganella (gastropod)

Wanganella is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks, unassigned in the superfamily Seguenzioidea.[1]

Species[edit]

Species within the genus Wanganella include:

Species brought into synonymy

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wanganella Laseron, 1954.  Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 27 March 2013.
  2. ^ Wanganella ruedai Rolan & Gubbioli, 2000.  Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 20 April 2010.
  • Kano Y., Chikyu, E. & Warén, A. (2009) Morphological, ecological and molecular characterization of the enigmatic planispiral snail genus Adeuomphalus (Vetigastropoda: Seguenzioidea). Journal of Molluscan Studies, 75:397-418
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