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Title: Pulmonate  
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Subject: Grove snail, Smeagol (gastropod)
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Temporal range: Carboniferous–recent
Various examples of Pulmonata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia

informal group Pulmonata
Cuvier, 1814

Taxonomic subdivisions

The Pulmonata, or "pulmonates", are an informal group (previously an order, and before that a subclass) of snails and slugs characterized by the ability to breathe air, by virtue of having a pallial lung instead of a gill, or gills. The group includes many land and freshwater families, and several marine families.

The taxon Pulmonata as traditionally defined was found to be polyphyletic in a molecular study per Jörger et al., dating from 2010.[1]

Pulmonata are known from the Carboniferous Period to the Holocene Epoch (=the last 12,000 years).[2]

Pulmonates have a single auricle and kidney, and a concentrated, symmetrical, nervous system. The mantle cavity is located on the right side of the body, and lacks gills, instead being converted into a vascularised lung. Most species have a shell, but no operculum, although the group does also include several shell-less slugs. Pulmonates are hermaphroditic, and some groups possess love darts.[3]

Linnean taxonomy

The taxonomy of this group according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda (Ponder & Lindberg, 1997) was as follows:

Order Pulmonata Cuvier in Blainville, 1814 - pulmonates

2005 taxonomy

The taxonomy of this group according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda (Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005)[4] was as follows:

Informal Group Pulmonata

Contains the informal group Basommatophora and the clade Eupulmonata

Informal Group Basommatophora

Contains the clade Hygrophila

Clade Hygrophila

Clade Eupulmonata

Contains the clades Systellommatophora and Stylommatophora

Clade Systellommatophora ( = Gymnomorpha)
Clade Stylommatophora

Contains the subclades Elasmognatha, Orthurethra and the informal group Sigmurethra

Subclade Elasmognatha
Subclade Orthurethra
Informal Group Sigmurethra
limacoid clade
other Sigmurethra

Two two superfamilies belongs to clade Sigmurethra, but they are not in the limacoid clade.

2010 taxonomy

Jörger et al. (2010)[1] analyzed major groups within the Heterobranchia using genetic data and found that Pulmonata as traditionally defined was polyphyletic, for instance some pulmonates were more closely related to Sacoglossa and Acochlidia. They proposed the taxon Panpulmonata to unite the clades Siphonarioidea, Sacoglossa, Glacidorboidea, Pyramidelloidea, Amphiboloidea, Hygrophila, Acochlidia and Eupulmonata. [1]


Further reading

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External links

  • National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
  • Pulmonate snails & slugs in captivityhe:שבלול
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