Mystery snails (Bellamya chinensis and Bellamya japonica) are two non-native snail species from the viviparidae family found within North America, including right here in the Potomac River watershed. Originally transported from Asia to North America, and sold as a food commodity or ornamental garden species over 100 years ago, the snails are now found across the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes, New England, and Mid-Atlantic coasts. Despite their widespread distribution in North American freshwater systems, researchers do not fully understand the morphology and possible impacts of B. chinensis and B. japonica on native freshwater systems such as the Potomac River.
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