ever since i got Gabriel I thought he wasn't a margie. His shell is much lighter and has no banding. His flesh is slightly lighter and much less coarse, more soft. and the V shape on the tail is less prominent. He grows very slowly and I think he has reached full size at only 10cm shell length. He has a bright purple columella-bit that goes up to the top of the aperture
i did get him from england though, and buylaerti are so rare i think the german website is the only one i know that has them...but they do look remarkably similar, and the purple columella might be a sign it is not a margie
just noticed...the sutures of buylaerti are more shallow. The shape of Gabriel's shell is like a margie.
The data is limted, but the difference between degneri and marginata is....
...These shells could only have been degneri, even though the species is known to occur in Gaboon, so that the locality should be regarded as erroneous. A. marginata which exists in Gaboon, is ruled out, first because Shuttleworth uses it for comparison; secondly because he mentions no difference in color from his polyphyrostoma, so that his shells must have been extensively purplish inside the aperture, a character not found in any of the several forms of marginata with which I am acquainted...
So, here is a degneri description...
Originally described as follows from one specimen (not Bequaert):
Shell solid, subovate, imperforate and somewhat shiny. Color: first three and a half whorls uniformly light brownish-yellow; following two whorls barred with irregular reddish-brown axial streaks which overlie the light brownish-yellow ground color; the reddish-brown color bars continue to the aperture, but the ground color changes from brownish-yellow to a decided light greenish-brown. On the last two whorls there appear to be upon close inspection a series of faint grayish, very fine zigzag lines, arranged more or less axially. Entire interior area of aperture, columella and parietal callus a deep vinaceous-red (Ridgway's pomegranate purple); extreme inner edge of outerlip and outer margin of parietal greyish purple. Whorls 7, convex, the last two impressed somewhat below the suture. Spire somewhat extended, produced at an angle of 60°. Body whorl about 77% of the total shell. Aperture rounded-ovate, about 65% of length of the shell, widest below the middle. Palatal lip flaring, bell-like, slightly thickened. Columella rather wide and twisted within, nearly straight and rather abruptly and broadly truncate. Sculpture: first one and a half whorls minutely rugose, gradually merging into the distinct, but very fine, decussate sculpture of the next three and a half whorls; on the remaining whorls the sculpture becomes irregular and the beading is only very faintly indicated; body-whorl roughened somewhat by coarse growth-lines.
More about the inside of the lip (Bequaert):
In the holotype, the columella, parietal wall, inner margin of outer lip (except for the narrow edge) and the entire inside of the aperture to far back in the shell are a gorgeous deep vinaceous-red. This is true also for a few shells I have collected in the Gold Coast. More often, however, the inside is reddish, in varying shades from orange-red to violaceous only near the outer-lip over a width of an inch or less. All transitions may be observed between these two extremes.
No mention of buylaerti at all, not even as a reference.
The trouble is with degneri is that they apprently frequently get mistaken for ventricosa. After reading that description, Lucy's ventricosa sound very similar:
We've no idea whether the following have been correctly identified but here is a degneri:
Now that one looks very like Lucy's ventricosa does it not?
More supposed degneri:
You can quite easily see the red inside of the outer lip.
...Or the top picture is a ventricosa misdentified as a degneri lol.
I have looked, not sure what to say, I was gonna fiddle with the pics to see if I can enhance them. The problem with young snails is that they look very similar. I'll have a proper look when I get chance and see if I can decide. But I'm not promising. As the moment they all look fulica-ish to me
I disagree with the top pic being like ventricosa. Lucys don't have any green at all. They are the same shape, but aren't most archachatina species? Its hard to tell in the photo but I also don't think the babies are like mine. Mine are a much lighter ta colour with alot of tny black spots and now developing reddish bands. Will upload a pic hang on.
Thanks for the description paul, I'm rather certain he is degneri now. he looks exactly like the 2nd picture you posted, and a lot like the 3rd, 4th and 5th. I checked the shell again, and the purple-red goes all the way around the aperture and inside the shell. I think I'm sure now. Also, I think he has reached adulthood because his lip has become slightly everted.
i emailed raphael, it was extremely difficult to translate 'columella' so i said he had a 'purple seam next to the opening of the shell'
All Archachatina have the stripe as far as I know. Never seen one yet that doesn't, you just can't tell in the photo coz he's so retracted. In fact all Achatina I have seen also have the stripe, some more obvious than others.
If it has the red/purple inside lip, then it could be degneri, ventricosa or even rhodostoma (I think). How we tell them apart I don't know. If we assume the pics above are for the most part correct, I'd say that you have a degneri and Lucy's are ventricosa. Not even sure if rhodostoma are still accepted as a species. Anyway, it's good enough for me.
One more thing... I'm not sure we can go off body colour. It is never used by malacologists and we know fulica and margies etc can have very different body colours. That's a shame coz it would have made things a little easier.
No it doesn't have the stripe, my ventricosa do. Although I can't see the head of Lucy's to see if that does You ca just see the skin of Lucy's getting lighter up towards the head though, the one Paul posted looked all dark. Also... My babies look extremely similar to the Ventricosa babies on that page you linked to Mike, although they are older than that now but look when I first got them.... www.nat-snails.mypetpages.net/index.php?getpage=fullsizeImage&artist_id=3322&image_id=71635 The 2 on the outside. Grrr its a nightmare identifying these little buggers isn't it. I was just satisfied that I didnt think mine were Margies, and now this lol.
All Archachatina have the stripe. I think the body colour is very close. But, on another picture Lucy's ventricosa look exactly, and I mean exactly like 2 of my margies. I couldn't believe her pics were of the same snail. But they were. So, that confuses things. Like I said, body colour is quite various.
I'll get around to typing it up. There is a lot more to it and it is very complicated coz it is hard to know when he is talking about possibles that he has debunked and when he is actually telling you his final description. There's quite a few pages. I'll see about posting it when I get chance. I was surprised how clear the degneri was.
Don't ask me to do the margies, lol, it would take a year to type up, because I can't just select bits like I did with the degneri. It is all tied together; voluminous and scatty.
someone should write a new book on achatinas. I think it's ridiculous that some of the most beautiful, fascinating snails in the world are ignored by malacologists. There are many new books on British snails and information is constantly being updated, but with african snails everything is unsure.
I agree Mike. Maybe eventually we can put something together with our own research. We are certainly getting a fair few species between us all now. But we need a reliable African dealer who knows his stuff.