The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Viviparus subpurpureus
Viviparus subpurpureus
(olive mysterysnail)
Native Transplant
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Viviparus subpurpureus

Common name: olive mysterysnail

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: A large snail with a broadly globose conic shape, which may have 3 dark colored bands but not always (Burch and Tottenham, 1980).

Size: 33 mm shell height (Clench and Fuller, 1965)

Native Range: Mississippi River drainage from Iowa and Illinois to Louisiana, and in the Gulf drainage in east Texas, west Louisiana, and east Mississippi (Clench and Fuller, 1965).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Viviparus subpurpureus are found here.

StateYear of earliest observationYear of last observationTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
South Carolina200820081Lake Marion

Table last updated 9/30/2019

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: The olive mysterysnail inhabits freshwater streams, ponds, lakes, and marshes.

The sexes are separate and the females give birth to live young.

Means of Introduction: It is difficult to determine the pathway of introduction for native species not known to be in the aquarium trade. Because the native range is relatively close, these reservoir introductions most likely are the result of unintentional release of water containing small snails through recreational activities.

Status: Unknown in its invaded range.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

References: (click for full references)

Burch, J.B. and J.L. Tottenham. 1980. North American freshwater snails: species lists, ranges and illustrations. Walkerana 1(3):81-215.

Clench, W.J., and S.L.H. Fuller. 1965. The genus Viviparus (Viviparidae) in North America. Occasional Papers on Mollusks 2(32):385-412.

Dillon, R.T., Jr., B.T. Watson, T.W. Stewart and W.K. Reeves. 2006. The freshwater gastropods of North America. Available from: http://www.fwgna.org/FWGSC/viviparus.pdf

Author: Benson, A.J.

Revision Date: 6/3/2013

Citation Information:
Benson, A.J., 2020, Viviparus subpurpureus: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2769, Revision Date: 6/3/2013, Access Date: 1/19/2020

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2020]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/19/2020].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted. For queries involving fish, please contact Matthew Neilson. For queries involving invertebrates, contact Amy Benson.