Today is my birthday and since I am getting older and slower (at least when I run lol), I am reviewing the recent snail by Papo, and thus wrapping up the Papo 2020 invertebrates. First, let’s discuss possible identities for the figure. When it was first announced, most of us assumed it was the Roman snail (also known as the Burgundy or edible snail), Helix pomatia. However, doing more snooping around, I had trouble reliably separating this figure from the garden snail, Cornu aspersum. I tried to do a search for peer-reviewed literature on shell morphometrics, hoping it would help. Alas, all the scientific descriptions of either species could easily fit this figure. After discussion on the forum with members Isidro and Megaptera, who both live in areas endemic for both species, I am sticking with the original identification of H. pomatia.
Helix pomatia occurs throughout much of Europe, where it is a common and familiar species. They can be common in forests, fields, riparian areas, gardens, and urban areas, wherever there is an available source of calcium carbonate for shell development. They have been a part of European cuisine since Ancient times and are popular in France as escargot.
The figure is 6.0 cm long across its widest points. The shell has a width of approximately 2.5 cm and a height of 1.7 cm. It only has three whorls, so it can easily represent a young specimen in the 1:1 scale range.
Both the snail’s body and shell are well sculpted. The body is the typical grey seen with many terrestrial snails and the shell is light brown with darker brown highlights and a pale rim at the opening. The antennae are accented with black. The underside of the body is smooth.
Not much else to say about this figure, since it has a rather simple design. If you have a synoptic collection and would like an edible snail, this figure comes recommended. I should mention, Bullyland produced a figure of this species that is a little more realistic and, despite being released in the 1990s, is still available! Terrestrial gastropods don’t show up in toy form too often, so get one of the two while you can!