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Cipangopaludina chinensis (Gray, 1834)

Diagnostic features

Relatively large, globose, smooth, conical shell with a small umbilicus. Olive green, greenish brown or reddish brown. It is larger in size compared to Cipangopaludina japonica and has more rounded whorls.


Cipangopaludina chinensis (Gray, 1834)

Common name: Chinese Apple Snail, Chinese Mystery Snail

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Architaenioglossa

Superfamily Viviparoidea

Family Viviparidae

Subfamily: Bellamyinae

Genus Cipangopaludina Hannibal, 1912

Original name: Paludina chinensis Gray, 1833. Gray, J.E. in Griffith, E. & Pidgeon, E. 1833(-1834). The Mollusca and Radiata. In The animal kingdom. Vol. 12. Ed. Cuvier, G. L. C. F. D., London: Whittaker and Co.

Type locality: China.

Synonyms: Paludina malleata Reeve, 1863; Vivipara wingatei Smith, 1881.

Biology and ecology

Cipangopaludina chinensis is a filter feeder and detritivore, but also browses on microalgae. Prefers freshwater lakes with soft, muddy or silty bottoms, reservoirs, slow-moving freshwater rivers, streams, paddy fields, and ponds.


Eastern Russia to China and Japan and South East Asia. Introduced into North America and the Netherlands.


This snail has not established in Australia, but is included here as a potential invader. It is consumed as food in Asia, and is a host of the human intestinal fluke Echinostoma cinetorchis.

Further reading

Chung, P. R. & Jung, Y. (1999). Cipangopaludina chinensis malleata (Gastropoda: Viviparidae): A new second molluscan intermediate host of a human intestinal fluke Echinostoma cinetorchis (Trematoda: Echinostomatidae) in Korea. The Journal of parasitology 85: 963-964.

Jokinen, E. H. (1982). Cipangopaludina chinensis (Gastropoda: Viviparidae) in North America, review and update. Nautilus 96: 89-95.

Lu, H.-F., Du, L.-N., Li, Z.-Q., Chen, X.-Y. & Yang, J.-X. (2014). Morphological analysis of the Chinese Cipangopaludina species (Gastropoda; Caenogastropoda: Viviparidae). Dongwuxue Yanjiu (Zoological Research) 35: 510-527.

Ng, T.H., Tan, S.K., Wong, W.H., Meier, R., Chan, S-Y., Tan, H.H. and Yeo, D.C.J. 2016. Molluscs for Sale: Assessment of Freshwater Gastropods and Bivalves in the Ornamental Pet Trade. PLOS One. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0161130.

Smith, D. G. (2000). Notes on the taxonomy of introduced Bellamya (Gastropoda: Viviparidae) species in northeastern North America. The Nautilus 114: 31-37.