E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Bellamya chinensis (Gray, 1834)
Chinese Mysterysnail
Family: Viviparidae
Photo of species

© Public Domain  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14986)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Bellamya chinensis in British Columbia
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The Chinese Mysterysnail is a large freshwater snail with gills. It is native to Southeast Asia to Japan and eastern Russia (Kipp et al. 2012, Wikipedia 2012). It is popular in aquariums and has escaped in North America and become invasive (Wikipedia 2012). "It was sold in Chinese food market in San Francisco in the late 1800s...and was collected in 1914 in Boston" (Kipp et al. 2012) . It is well established in the northeast US and Southeast Canada Soes et al. 2011).


: Habitat preferences include slow-moving freshwater rivers, streams, and lakes with soft, muddy or silty bottoms', but it has been found in stagnant water near septic tanks (Kipp et al. 2012).


This species is uniform in colour, without banding, with a black lip, and can be identified by its fairly large round (globose) shell; adults are olive green, greenish brown, brown or reddish brown in colour while juveniles are lighter coloured (Kipp et al. 2012, Soes et al. 2011).


The Chinese Mysterysnail reproduces sexually and gives birth to live young (Wikipedia 2012). It feeds on algae, and other organic matter (Kipp et al. 2012).

Conservation Concern:

"Bellamya chinensis is a relatively large snail species that can reach very high densities of up to 40 per m² (Soes et al., 2011; Johnson et al., 2009). While negative impacts on native snail species and ecosystems are expected (Bury et al., 2007) very little is known about its ecological impacts and significance in invaded systems (Johnson et al., 2009; Solomon et al., 2010; Soes et al., 2011) " (National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group 2012).

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
ExoticSNAExoticNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Cipangopaludina chinensis (Gray, 1834)
Paludina malleata Reeve 1863
Viviparus japonicus Von Martens

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Kipp, R.M., A.J. Benson, J. Larson, and A. Fusaro. 2012. Cipangopaludina chinensis malleata. USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Available online.

Soes, D. Menno, Gerard D. Majoor, and Stef M.A. Keulen. 2011. Bellamya chinensis (Gray, 1834) (Gastropoda: Viviparidae), a new alien snail species for the European fauna. Aquatic Invasions 6 (1): 97–102. Available online.

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-06-25 6:06:35 AM]
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