Morphological characters explained
Shell shape, size and ornamentation are key features in heteropod species identification.
There are two types of atlantid radula:
Type I: Teeth are never cast off, so the number of tooth rows increases continuously. All stages from juvenile to adult are present in mature specimens.
Type II: Teeth are cast off the anterior end of the radula once a set number of tooth rows is reached (this number varies by species, see table below).
The overall shape of the radula is also useful for species identification, although there is sexual dimorphism of the radula in many atlantid species. For more information on radulae see the