Morphological characters explained

Soft tissues

 

Shell

 

Shell shape, size and ornamentation are key features in heteropod species identification.

Eyes

 

Radula

 

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 

Operculum