The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is an aquatic invasive species found throughout the USA. Little is known about this species’ life history or ecology, and only one population estimate has been published, for Wild Plum Lake in southeast Nebraska. A recent die-off event occurred at this same reservoir and we present a mortality estimate for this B. chinensis population using a quadrat approach. Assuming uniform distribution throughout the newly-exposed lake bed (20,900 m2), we estimate 42,845 individuals died during this event, amounting to approximately 17% of the previously-estimated population size of 253,570. Assuming uniform distribution throughout all previously-reported available habitat (48,525 m2), we estimate 99,476 individuals died, comprising 39% of the previously-reported adult population. The die-off occurred during an extreme drought event, which was coincident with abnormally hot weather. However, the exact reason of the die-off is still unclear. More monitoring of the population dynamics of B. chinensis is necessary to further our understanding of this species’ ecology.
Additional publication details
Mortality estimate of Chinese mystery snail, Bellamya chinensis (Reeve, 1863) in a Nebraska reservoir
Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit