Don’t Let It Loose! –
Mystery snail, trapdoor snail, Cipangopaludina chinensis malleata
Where does the species originate from?
Mystery snails’ native distribution ranges from southeast Asia to Japan and eastern Russia.
How they are introduced and spread?
Mystery snails are introduced to the wild when aquariums are dumped, ornamental ponds are flooded or bait buckets are emptied. In some places it may be sold (often illegally) in both the live food trade and the aquarium/ornamental pond trade.
Impacts are unknown although large populations have been discovered in ponds, sloughs, etc. It is thought that they can compete with native snails. They are potential vectors for the transmission of parasites and diseases. In large numbers, their shells can clog water intake screens.
· The name mystery snail originates from the way these snails reproduce. Females are live-bearers giving birth to crawling young, so to anyone observing this it appears the baby snails are mysteriously appearing out from under the mother snails shell.
· Mystery snails have a trapdoor or operculum at the mouth of their shell that protects the snail against predators, pollutants, and desiccation (drying out).
· Mystery snails can grow up to 2.5 inches and live up to 5 years.
Don’t Let It Loose! Never release aquarium plants or animals into a natural water body, whether it is a small local pond, lake, or nearby river.
Submitted by Briita Orwick, Aquatic Invasive Species Intern, Region 1