The Interrupted Rocksnail

by Grady Cooke

Microworlds- The Secret Life of the Snail

Taxonomy

Kingdom - Animalia

Subkingdom - Bilateria

Infrakingdom - Protostomia

Superphylum - Lophozoa

Phylum - Mollusca

Class - Gastropoda

Order - Neotaenioglossa

Family - Pleuroceridae

Genus - Leptoxis Rafinesque

Species - Leptoxis Foremani

AKA

The Interrupted Rocksnail's scientific name is the Leptoxis Foremani (Fea).

Its nickname is Downie's Round Riversnail.

Description

The interrupted rocksnail can only grow to about an inch in length. The "skin" of the snail is usually orange during adolescence, and may turn light brown or stay orange into adulthood.

Their diet, like most gastropods, consists of bacteria and algae.

Rocksnails breed around age two, and the female produces eggs usually sometime between March to May.

Habitat

Shallow water above ground with little substrate tends to be preferred by the interrupted rocksnail. They are currently restricted to the Coosa River Basin in the USA, North America. They historically originated from three seperate rivers in Georgia i.e. Etowah, Conasauga, and Coosawatee. The interrupted rocksnail does not hibernate nor do they migrate, as it would be a very time consuming process, considering the fact that they're snails. The snails help fish populations by consuming potentially harmful bacteria, and they help plants because an abundance of algae prohibits the growth of other plants.

Why They're Endangered

The snail's most prominent problem is the rapid drop in water quality. Sedimentation, or the settlement of solid particles on top of a body of water, make the shallow rivers dirty and less suitable for the snail's survival. Sedimentation is caused by a number of factors, of which most are caused by humans, including poor agriculture practices and urban development. The interrupted rocksnail has not experienced a shortening food supply as there is usually an abundance of bacteria and algae in the rivers that they inhabit. They also are not hunted, nor have they been wiped out in any significant numbers by a disease.

Solutions

There are multiple solutions to this problem, all of which are relatively simple. First of all, more environmentally conscience agricultural practices need to be utilized. Runoff and irrigation systems need to be established in a way to where soil erosion is minimized to make sure that large amounts of dirt and soil are not being dumped in local rivers. This may be achieved by using pipes and irrigation systems that lead directly to a river. A similar solution is possible pertaining to urban development. Better and more efficient drainage systems create cleaner rivers, therefore a cleaner and safer habitat for the interrupted rocksnail.

Works Cited

Wisniewski, J. Georgia Wildlife. 1 Sept. 2008. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

"Dodd-Frank Wall Steet Reform 294 in the Last Year." Federal Register. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.