Melanoides tuberculata
Melanoides tuberculata
(red-rim melania)
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Melanoides tuberculata (Muller, 1774)

Common name: red-rim melania

Synonyms and Other Names: Ofter refered to in the aquarium trade as Malaysian trumpet snail.

Identification: An elongate, conical shell with as many as 10 whorls, usually light brown marked with rust colored spots. Operculum present.

Size: 40 mm; 80 mm max.

Native Range: Northern Africa to southern Asia

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Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: Arizona; San Francisco Bay, California (Ruiz 2000); Colorado;  Florida;  Hawai'i; Louisiana (Dundee 1977); Montana;  North Carolina; Nevada; Oregon; Utah (USFWS 2005); and Texas (USFWS 2005).  (Unconfirmed in South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming)

Means of Introduction: Imported by the aquarium industry as early as the 1930s.  Some of the early known populations most likely began from local aquarium hobbyists' releases.

Status: Established for many years from Florida to Texas and may still be expanding its range in the West and Northeast.

Impact of Introduction: Melanoides tuberculata may be able to outcompete and replace native snails. Additionally, M. tuberculata is a known host for an introduced trematode (Centrocestus formosanus) that parastizes many species of fish, including the endangered fountain darter (Ethsostoma fonticola), and will consume benthic fish eggs (Mitchell et al. 2007; Phillips et al. 2010). Other parasites have also been found associated with this snail which can infect humans (Mitchell et al. 2007).

Remarks: Melanoides tuberculata can breed parthenogenically and brood young internally.  Temperature range is from 18-32° Celsius.  Research has been conducted to determine the snails lethal water temperature, about 50° Celsius (120° Fahrenheit), for the disinfection fishing gear and research equipment which may inadvertently spreading snails to uninfested waters (A. Mitchell, personal communication).

References: (click for full references)

A. Mitchell. USDA-ARS. (Personal communication).

Mitchell, A.J., M.S. Hobbs, and T.M. Brandt. 2007. The effect fo chemical treatments on red-rim melania Melania tuberculata, an exotic aquatic snail that serves as a vector of trematodes to fish and other species in the USA. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 27(4):1287-1293.

Phillips, C.T., M.L. Alexander, and R. Howard. 2010. Consumption of eggs of the endangered fountain darter (Etheostoma fonticola) by native and nonnative snails. Southwestern Naturalist 55(1):115-117.

Thompson, F. G. 1984. The freshwater snails of Florida. A manual for identification. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 94 pp.  [On-line at ]

Other Resources:
Jacksonville Shells

Author: Benson, A. J., and M. E. Neilson

Revision Date: 2/28/2013

Citation Information:
Benson, A. J., and M. E. Neilson, 2017, Melanoides tuberculata (Muller, 1774): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 2/28/2013, Access Date: 11/21/2017

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.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2017]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [11/21/2017].

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