New Zealand Mud Snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)

Mud snail size comparison with a dime

Credit: US Geological Survey
Where did the mud snail come from?
  • The mud snail is native to New Zealand.
  • It was first found in Idaho and Montana in 1987.
  • New Zealand mud snails have been spread to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon and California waters.
Why is the mud snail a problem?
  • The New Zealand mud snail has no predators outside of New Zealand.
  • The mud snail reproduces at an alarmingly high rate and colonizes quickly.
  • The mud snail competes for food with other native bottom dwelling animals and often crowds out the area, thus resulting in less food for native species.
What does the mud snail look like?
  • Mature New Zealand mud snails near 5 mm in length.
  • Their shells range from light brown to dark brown.
How do we control the mud snail?
  • Because the introduction of the New Zealand Mud Snail has been highly successful, preventing further spread is very important.
  • Education through outreach is the best way now to stop the New Zealand mud snail from spreading.

New zealand mud snail shells

Credit: Dmitry P. Filippenko & Mikhail O. Son





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