Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : This paper examines the variability of the genital characters of Helix pomatia and H. lucorum. Some of these characters are commonly used to distinguish the two closely related species. Variations within and between populations are also investigated. The high variability of these characters can frequently lead to identification errors, especially in eastern Europe. Correct identification of these edible snails is also of commercial importance, different species having a different price. The reciprocal nature of the male parts of the genitalia and the bursa stalk and diverticulum complex is pointed out. A possible function of the diverticulum is suggested on the basis of size relations between genital system features.