Sinanodonta woodiana
Sinanodonta woodiana
(Chinese pond mussel)
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Sinanodonta woodiana (Lea, 1834)

Common name: Chinese pond mussel

Synonyms and Other Names: Anodonta woodiana

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Size: Reaching 30 cm (Pou-Rovira et al., 2009).

Native Range: Eastern Asia, primarily from the Amur River and Yangtze rivers (Kraszewski and Zdanowski, 2007)

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Nonindigenous Occurrences: In 2010, the first and only documented occurrence in the United States was in ponds of a former fish farm in Franklin Township, New Jersey (J. Bowers-Altman, pers comm.).

Ecology: From slowly running rivers to eutrophic ponds (Welter Schultes, 2010). Commonly found in muddy sediment in the Czech Republic (Beran, 2008).

Means of Introduction: Most likely the mussels arrived as glochidia (larvae) attached to the gills of imported Asian carp (Beran, 2008). All carp species serve as hosts for the glochidia larval stage.

Status: Established locally in the ponds.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown to date in the US.

Remarks: The New Jersey fish farm was purchased by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation for conservation purposes. All the fish, of which some were apparently bighead carp (Hypophthalmichys nobilis), an invader in itself, were eradicated with a rotenone treatment (J. Bowers-Altman, pers comm.).

This mussel has also been documented in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica (Watters, 1997). In Europe, it is the most widely introduced unionid mussel (Pou-Rovira et al., 2009). It was found first in Hungary in 1984. Since then, Sinanodonta woodiana has been found in at least 13 additional countries (Kraszewski and Zdanowski, 2007; Paunovic et al., 2006; Pou-Rovira et al., 2009), primarily associated with fish farms (Kraszewski and Zdanowski, 2007; Popa and Popa, 2006). In just 20 years, this mussel has spread throughout most of Romania (Popa et al., 2007) and is rapidly colonizing Italy (Cappelletti et al., 2009) and the Iberian Peninsula (Pou-Rovira et al., 2009).

References: (click for full references)

Beran, L. 2008. Expansion of Sinandonta woodiana (Lea, 1834) (Bivalvia: Unionidae) in the Czech Republic. Aquatic Invasions 3(1): 91-94.

Cappelletti, C., S. Cianfanelli, M. E. Beltrami, and F. Ciutti. 2009. Sinanodonta woodiana (Lea, 1834) (Bivalvia: Unionidae): a new non-indigenous species in Lake Garda (Italy). Aquatic Invasions 4(4): 685-688.

Kraszewski, A. and B. Zdanowski. 2007. Sinanodonta woodiana (Lea, 1834) (Mollusca) - a new mussel species in Poland: occurence and habitat preferences in a heated lake system. Polish Journal of Ecology 55(2): 337-356.

Paunovic, M., B. Csanyi, V. Simic, B. Stojanovic, and P. Cakic. 2006. Distribution of Anodonta (Sinanondonta) woodiana (Lea, 1834) in inland waters of Serbia. Aquatic Invasions 1(3): 154-160.

Popa, O. P., B. S. Kelemen, D. Murariu, and L. O. Popa. 2007. New records of Sinanodonta woodiana (Lea, 1834) (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae) from eastern Romania. Aquatic Invasions 2(3): 265-267.

Popa, O. and L. O. Popa. 2006. Sinanodonta woodiana (Lea, 1834), Corbicula fluminea (O. F. Muller, 1774), Dreissena bugensis (Andrusov, 1897) (Mollusca: Bivalvia): alien invasive species in Romanian fauna. Travaux du Museum National d'Histoire Naturalle 49: 7-12.

Pou-Rovira, Q., R. Araujo, D. Boix, M. Clavero, C. Feo., M. Ordeix, and L. Zamora. 2009. Presence of the alien Chinese pond mussel Anodonta woodiana (Lea, 1834) (Bivalvia, Unionidae) in the Iberian Peninsula. Graellsia 65(1): 67-70.

Watters, G. T. 1997. A synthesis and review of the expanding range of the Asian freshwater mussel Anodonta woodiana (Bivalvia: Unionidae). Veliger 40: 152-156.

Welter Schultes, F. 2010. Species summary for Sinanodonta woodiana. AnimalBase Last accessed 9/28/2010.

Author: Benson, A.J.

Revision Date: 10/7/2010

Citation Information:
Benson, A.J., 2017, Sinanodonta woodiana (Lea, 1834): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 10/7/2010, Access Date: 9/20/2017

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 [9/20/2017].

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