My and Others' Work


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The Purple Bridgesii Project
        My work looking into the aspects of bridgesii colors started with a focus on the purple colors. An individual on www.applesnail.net, grimace, proposed research into those colors, and that's what tripped off my search for purple snails to study. The original thread still exists
here.
        A while into trying to figure out the vague patterns of inheritance and genes that could be related to purple snails, I stumbled accross a marvelous thread on the same site that contains most of the information that I relied on as a "base" to start working from. The thread, still available here, contains some work done by DNA-Man on the major colors of bridgesiis. His work resulted in a simpler, but 100% verifiable version of the lists of gene "unit" forms that I am currently working with (higher is more dominant):

Inner Shell Layer Outer Shell Layer Stripes Body Body Spots
Brown Green-ish Brown Brown Dark Blue-Black Orange
yellow null null white yellow
null        

        When purple and other new colors are taken into account, it's obvious that more variables are necessary, but this table from DNA-Man's work can be considered a solid base upon which everything else has been built.





Others' contributions
        My hopothosis and expansions on DNA-Man's work would not have been possible without the help that I have recieved from numerous members of the apple snail community on applesnail.net. The many pictures posted to show different colors, and the observations posted allowed me to gain a much wider perspective of what was going on than I would have been able to just working with my own tank.
        There are several people that I must credit for their integral help: BugBarb, for her discovery of the purple snails and her propogation of them, grimace, for starting off interest in purple genes, SGcvn69, for her extensive knowledge in snail care, breeding, and shell-patching along with her breeding of purples, EMc/, for sending me two of his unique snails, and snailLVR03, for giving me valuable information on growth rates.





My Work
        It all started with one snail...the totem animal of my snail work, Eatith. Although she is a canaliculata and not a bridgesii, she started my large interest in the critters and now I have two 20 gallon tanks to house numerous colors of bridgesiis, some viviparids, and some Marisas.
        Most of the discoveries I have made about the inheritance of color traits have come from other people, as I have yet to get a successfull egg clutch do develope beyond hatching :( However, information regarding what color combinations exist has come largely from the snails that I have kept. While externally visible traits are easy to observe (such as a dark body, orange body spots, an overall purple shell, etc), there are some sneaky catches that I saw. One, is that there are two pigmented layers that grow at different rates periodically. While it's easy to see the resulting color of the outer layer plus the inner layer, it can be very hard to know what the actual color of each one is seperately. All my information on that has come from sporadic episodes of growth where one layer grew out beyond another, and from accidental shell breaks (I have never and will never intentionally harm a snail to find out anything, all shell damage that resulted in information was completely accidental). From these observations, I was quickly able to come up with some important facts:

The Tank
        The tank I have been using to study snails has gone through a variety of phases: totally plain with no gravel/plants, some gravel, floating plants only, and finally semi-planted. The initial ways I had the tank set up lead to repeated furstration with cloudy water, high amonia/nitrite levels, and the unstoppable green water styndrome. Eventually, through trial and error, I managed to esablish a system which so far has been stable, requriring little to no water changes. Currently I have half the tank planted with a forest of java ferns and valinesaria spiralis (or saggetaria...not sure which), and the other half is occupied by an undergravel filter which is circulated by an out-of-tank filter. The planted half has coarse gravel, and the other side is finer. The java ferns have been proliferous to say the least, and from 3 plants I now have 10 plantlets (and many more on the way) which have replanted in the oposite corner in the finer gravel. I have tried to keep anacharis but it has ultimately been unsuccessful and seems to get eaten at mysterious times.



(More comming soon)





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Main Color Basics Color Genetics My and Others' Work Links Contact Info