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Indrella ampulla by Vipin Baliga
Via Flickr:
Me and my friend had ventured into a very dense and hilly forest(Western Ghats) following elephant tracks… The tracks were covered with fresh droppings and foot prints… All along the path we found freshly ravaged trees and branches which was suggestive of the pachyderm’s proximity… Unfortunately we didn’t spot any elephants… But I managed to capture this beautiful snail..!! (It was a tough job getting a good picture considering the facts that is was pouring heavily and my phone isn’t water resistant…) Location: S-Kodagu, Karnataka. Information on the specimen: Indrella ampulla is a species of tropical air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Ariophantidae. This is the type species of the monotypic genus Indrella, which is endemic to the Western Ghats of India. This is the only species in the genus Indrella, however the animal color is polymorphic: the visible soft parts of the snail can be various colors including red and pale yellow. The shell of this species is like that of Vitrina, imperforate, with few whorls and with a very large aperture.[3] The shell consists mainly of proteins with only small amounts of calcium carbonate. The color of the shell is brownish olive, sometimes darker brown. Spire is small, convex and obtuse. The number of whorls is 3 and a half, rapidly increasing, the last much larger, rounded at the periphery and beneath. The aperture is very large, oblique, roundly oval, the same colour within as without, but smooth and glossy The external soft parts are similar to those of Ariophanta, but larger, and not fully retractile within the shell. The mucous pore is of moderate size,there is no distinct overhanging lobe or a small one. The sole of the foot is undivided and very smooth. There are no shell-lobes. The dorsal lobes are well developed, the left divided into an anterior and a posterior part by a deep sinus. Kalc-sac small, receiving the vas deferens; retractor muscle attached to long straight caecum given off at the junction of the flagellum of the male organ. The spermatheca is oval, very short, on a short stem. The amatorial organ (the dart-sac) is stout and long Radula: The jaw is straight, with a slight convexity on the cutting-edge and no median projection. The radula is broad, with about 100 rows of teeth: 145 .17 .1 .17 .145; median tooth and the 17 on each side (admedians) long, broadly pointed, straight-sided, lateral cusps indistinct; laterals curved, aculeate, outer laterals bicuspid. Distribution: This species occurs in the Western Ghats of India, specifically on the wetter western slopes of the Wynaad, Nilgiri, and Anaimalai Hills, at moderate elevations (3000 ft) Feeding habits: Colonel Richard Henry Beddome of the British Indian forest service found this snail feeding on large fungi.