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Cipangopaludina japonica (Martens, 1861)

Diagnostic features

This species is smaller  in size than Cipangopaludina japonica and has less rounded whorls. This species can be distinguished from the other introduced viviparid Bellamya heudei guangdungensis (Kobelt, 1906) by the lack of dark spiral ribs.


Cipangopaludina japonica (Martens, 1861)

Common name: Japanese Mystery Snail

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Caenogastropoda

Order Architaenioglossa

Superfamily Viviparoidea

Family Viviparidae

Subfamily: Bellamyinae

Genus Cipangopaludina Hannibal, 1912

Original name: Paludina japonica Martens, 1861Martens, C. A. von 1861. Malakologische Mittheilungen. Malakozoologische Blätter 7, 225-228.

Type locality: Japan.

Biology and ecology

Found crawling on rocks, water plants and on sediment in pond bottoms. It is a filter feeder. Females are slightly larger than males when mature.

Females live up to 8 years and are able to carry 10–120 young. Young are generally born after water temperature rises to 15ºC or more (Jokinen 1992).           

The Japanese mystery snail is a host to Angiostrongylus cantonensis.


Native to Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Known in Australia only from outdoor ponds at Austral Watergardens at Cowan in Sydney.


This species is only known from outdoor ponds at Austral Watergardens at Cowan in Sydney. It has as far as is known not established in the wild but could do so easily.

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. (1992). The Freshwater Snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of New York State. The University of the State of New York, The State Education Department, The New York State Museum, Albany, New York 12230. 112 pp.

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.