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Breeders are stating generations of their offspring incorrectly - fraud or mistake?

Why aren't people allowed to ask about the origins of the breeding group? Why do breeders hide this information behind so-called know-how or trade secret?

I would like to share with you three stories (I always use "breeder and friend regardless of gender"). Let me know if something similar ever happened to you.

"F2? F3? Ok, so no generation than." Since I pointed a few times that a seller of F2 is also an owner of F1 so he/she must also know the owner of the imported snails (so the lie is easy to prove). Some breeders started listing their offspring for sale as F3. Note: These are apple snails. I used them to make sure that no one is offended because when this story was fresh, breeders could recognize themselves in the story.

It is only in the Czech Republic

Each country has its specifics. When it comes to snail breeding, Czech are obsessed with generations. Oh, and the country of origin that they believe is the most important part of the name of the species - but that will make a good topic for another post.

Anyways. When I started there were only three "options". A snail was imported from nature, it was labelled WC (= wild caught). Than there was F1 (= the first generation that hatched in captivity). The F1 was considered the most valuable. Why? Those snails have the good qualities of the wc specimen such as rich color of the body and/or highly contrasting pattern of shell. At the same time, they were relatively easy to keep (compared to the wc snails that usually died a few months or even weeks after being imported to Europe. Pricewise, the F1 was most expensive, than a little cheaper were wild-caught snails. Everything else was just cheaper than both F1 and WC, no matter if F2 or F12. Only F1 was in fact listed in advertisements.

Then I took a break due to my maternity leave and when I came back and started following online discussions again I couldn't believe how generations took the spotlight. Prices were sky-rocketing and suddenly every snail available had a generation listed. First it impressed me but then I realized that a bog portion of those top generation listings are just lie.

The three stories I promised

Story 1:

A breeder is offering F2 generation snails - pleurodonte excellens. Logically, if the breeders offers F2 babies, the parents are F1. So the breeders must have bought those F1 parents from someone who owns wc snails. I am thinking WOW! In 12 years I have never seen imported pleurodonte excelles! I am so curious to see such treasure so I ask the breeder for a photo! Silence follows. Then the information about F2 generation is simply removed from the advertisement. Accident or fraud with a goal to ask for higher price? Your decision to make.

Story 2:

A breeder is offering very expensive F1 generation offspring - ovum silver body. Damn! Until now I was sure that wc silver ovum do not exist that all silver ovums are simply created by crossing ovums and silver suturalis. I am check my bank account balance and head out shopping. Again, logically, the breeder and the seller of F1 babies must have the wc snails at home. Ovums are tough and they can live in captivity many years so there is a very low probability that the wc snails in question are already dead. Ok, photos look like they could be both imported snails or snails living in very bad conditions. So I start asking questions about their origin. And here comes a pretty unbelievable story about how the breeder has a friend who isn't a snail enthusiast at all, but while looking for a birthday gift for this breeder, bam, they stumble upon this precious gem. And even the breeder doesn't know where it actually came from. And because it's a birthday gift, it would be really rude to ask, right? Ok, does this sound like the biggest luck in the world or a fraud? Again, you decide.

Story 3:

A breeder contacts me for advice - they need to supplement their existing breeding group of egregia two tone. I have a very good grasp of the origin of this species in the Czech Republic because almost everything can be traced back to me and the two lines I imported from Cameroon through Germany and Holland. After some investigation, we find out that one breeder is offering F2, which, even with the best will in the world, cannot be better than F3, and even that is questionable. And this is no beginner who gets easily confused and tricked. So...a mistake or unfair business practice? Because in Czech, F2 quite a bit more expensive than F3.

What I am trying to say

Not everyone has been in snail keeping hobby long enough, not everyone knows who to ask, and MAINLY not everyone believes it is OK to ask the breeder directly. The origin of breeding groups is often considered a trade secret or know-how here. Really? Is it a trade secret, or is it a typically Czech character trait? Focus on unimportant things (shouldn't be healthy snail with nice color valued more than a snail with just generation?) and not hesitate when a little lie can increase the profit.

People often ask me, and I have no problem telling them where my snails come from. I believe every potential buyer of my offspring has the right to know! I don't think my added value as a breeder lies in knowing which importer sold me the import. And if someone sees it that way, I'm happy they will spend their money elsewhere than with me. Just go ahead, buy directly imports if you think it is so easy to breed them. I will be happy to buy F1 from you - because I am Czech and generations are everything to me! :)

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