Chinese Mystery Snail (Cipangopaludina chinensis malleata)

Credit: Amy Benson - US Geological Survey


A specimen out of water.

Credit: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Where did the Chinese mystery snail come from?

  • Native to eastern Asia
  • Established on both coasts of the US by 1965
  • Found in the Great Lakes in the 1940s

Why is it a problem?


Chinese mystery snails can clog water-intake pipes. They may also transmit diseases and parasites to fish and other wildlife. They compete with native snails for food and adversely affect aquatic food webs.


What does the Chinese mystery snail look like?
  • Up to 2 1/4 inches
  • Light brownish to olive green shell
  • Six to seven whorls without banding
  • Very fine growth rings
  • Round or oval black lip
  • May camouflage itself with a dark green covering

How do we control it?

Prevent the Chinese mystery snail from spreading by cleaning, draining and drying boats and equipment. Never release aquarium specimens into the wild.


What habitat does it prefer?


Chinese mystery snails select soft, muddy or sandy bottoms of shallow quiet waters.






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