CLASSIFICATION OF HELIX (GARDEN SNAIL)
KINGDOM :- ANIMALIA (Multicellular eukaryotic organisms)
PHYLUM :- MOLLUSCA (Unsegmented bilaterally symmetrical and provided with visceral mass, foot and mantle.)
CLASS :- GASTROPODA (Head bearing tentacles, eyes and radula; visceral hump and shell coiled due to torsion.)
SUB-CLASS :- EUTHYNEURA (Nerve loop not twisted in figure of 8.)
ORDER :- PULMONATA (Air-breathing forms.)
SUB-ORDER :- STYLOMMATOPHORA (Eyes at the tips of posterior tentacles.)
FAMILY :- HELICIDAE (The shells of these snails are mostly rather globular in shape)
GENUS :- Helix (Escargot or Vineyard snail)
Several species are found in Palarctic region; poorly represented in America.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Helix is common terrestrial air breathing gastropod, nocturnal hibernating creature (in winter). It feeds on leafy vegetation.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF HELIX (GARDEN SNAIL)
- Commonly called as garden snail.
- Shell is thin, external and heliciform with a low conical spire, measuring 4 cm in length.
- Shell has a smooth aperture and prominent lines of growth.
- Body consists of head, foot and visceral hump.
- Head comprises of two pairs of tentacles and mouth. The posterior pair of tentacles bears eyes (oculiferous). The mouth is provided with three prominent lips.
- Anterior pair of tentacles small while posterior pair of tentacles are large which bear oculiferous eyes.
- Genital aperture opens above the right lateral lip. The gonads contain 4-angled dart and multified digitiform glands.
- Gills are absent, foot is undivided longitudinally and radula is well developed with several rows of curved teeth.
The French edible snail (Helix pomatid) is sold in the markets of America and European countries. It forms delicious dish.
The animal contains oculiferous tentacles, visceral hump and all above features, hence it is Helix.