Metachatina kraussi (Pfeiffer, 1846)is a valid and distinct Achatinidae; it is the largest and heaviest South African land snail. It is so unique that Pilsbry, 1904 created its own subgenus where it remains as the sole representative. Here are some of those features, mostly apparent in adult specimens ( quite some differences between adults & juveniles; e.g. shell coloration ) : - a dark brown/purplish- black ring surrounding the aperture including the columella ( giving rise to the common name “brown lipped agate snail” ) - thickened and smoothed outer lip, as a result of which it merges smoothly into the columella without truncation ( the lack of a definite cut-off point to the base of its inner lip is diagnostic of Metachatina ). - nipple-like protoconch Other features/data : - horizontal and vertical striations on spire produce a granulose effect, ceasing abruptly at the peripheral line - eggs : about 20-30 per clutch, each varying in diameter from 8-12 mm. - habitat : south east South Africa – south Mozambique, mainly inhabits dune and coastal lowland forest, thick valley bushveld and savanna woodland.
M. kraussi is apparently not an unusual species, commonest in the KwaZulu-Natal coastal area and in Zululand. If you search in the forum you can find several references but no photos. Here is one of the more interesting ones :
Post by Paul on Apr 13, 2006 at 6:46pm
In the Dai Herbert & Dick Kilburn book it says...
"We have watched a young brown-lipped agate snails (Metachatina kraussi) in captivity climb onto the shell of a larger individual of the pink-lipped agate snail (Achatina immaculata) and, flattening its foot over a large area of the latter's shell, it slowly etched away so much of the shell material that, over a period of days, a large hole was formed. After separation of the two, the victim was allowed to snack ad libitum on a supply of chalk, and within a week had repaired the hole."
It's very strange, and sad how over the space of less than ten years certain species and types can pretty much disappear from the pet trade (take this for example) or the Achatina immaculata "two tone" which has recently resurfaced.
I wonder how many other species were kept not that long ago but have since completely disappeared from the pet trade or dwindled so significantly no-one knows someone out there has some?
I've never seen Metachatina kraussi available anywhere in Europe, or indeed anywhere. That quote is from a book written on South African snails, they probably just collected one locally for information for the book.
tsrebel, you opened this stub in "general discussion". What do you think about asking the mods to move it to "species picture for the website" ? We are building a number of files up there on various species, would make it easier to find in future.