Bellamya chinensis (Chinese Trapdoor Snail)

August 6, 2017 killifish 0

The Chinese mystery snail, black snail, or trapdoor snail, scientific name Bellamya chinensis, synonym Cipangopaludina chinensis, is a large freshwater snail with gills and an operculum, an aquatic gastropod mollusk in the family Viviparidae. The Japanese variety of this species is black and usually a dark green, moss-like alga covers the shell. The name, “trapdoor snail” refers the operculum, an oval corneous plate that most snails in this clade possess. When the soft parts of the snail are fully retracted, the operculum seals the aperture of the shell, providing some protection against drying out and predation.

Though native to East Asia from the tropics of Indochina to northern China, this species has established itself in North America. The native range is from Southeast Asia to Japan and eastern Russia. This species is widely distributed in China including the Chinese Loess Plateau.

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