Invasion History

First Non-native North American Tidal Record: 1996
First Non-native West Coast Tidal Record:
First Non-native East/Gulf Coast Tidal Record: 1996

General Invasion History:

Melanoides turricula is a freshwater snail described from the Phillipines, possibly conspecific with the more widespread invasive Asian snail M. tuberculata (Lee 2006; Thompson 1999). It was reported from Florida waters by 1984 (Thompson 1984, cited by McCann et al. 1996). While this snail prefers clearer, more flowing water than M. tuberculata, it does occur in tidal fresh tributaries of Tampa Bay (Baker et al. 2004). Melanoides turricula is also known from nontidal freshwaters of Florida (Lee 2006; USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program 2013). One population, in an artificial pond near Jacksonville, was initially identified as M. turricula, but was later considered to be an unidentified species (Lee 2013). We have not found introduced records of this snail from elsewhere in North America, or in the rest of the world.

North American Invasion History:

Invasion History on the Gulf Coast:

Melanoides turricula was reported from springs and streams in Florida at least as early as 1984 (Thompson 1984, cited by McCann et al. 1996). The precise date of its introduction is unknown, owing to confusion with M. tuberculata. It was present in Eureka Springs, adjacent to the tidal Hillsborough River, east of Tampa Bay, by 1996 (McCann et al. 1996). It has aso been reported from the non-tidal Withlacoochee River in Marion County (McCann et al. 1996 USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program 2013).


Melanoides turricula is a medium-sized freshwater snail. It has an elongate-conical, dextrally coiled, shell with 8-12 whorls and a strongly pointed spire, though the tip is usually eroded. The shell is sculptured with fine spiral threads and fine vertical ribs on the uppermost whorls. The base of the shell usually lacks a spiral band. The aperture has a tear-drop shape and the operculum is horn-colored. The shell reaches a length of about 30-40 mm. The shell is olive-green, with vertical reddish flames and spots. This form could be an ecotype or subspecies of the highly variable and widespread M. tuberculata (Thompson 2004), but we will treat it provisionally as a distinct species. There are at least 47 named species of Melanoides, excluding synonyms (Galli 2013), so the identification of these snails is challenging.


Taxonomic Tree

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Mollusca
Class:   Gastropoda
Order:   Neotaenioglossa
Family:   Thiaridae
Genus:   Melanoides
Species:   turricula


Melania turricula (I. Lea, 1850)
Melanoides turriculus (None, None)

Potentially Misidentified Species

Melanoides tuberculatus

Tarebia granifera



We have very little information about the biology of Melanoides turricula (Fawn Melania), but its life history and ecology is expected to be similar to that of M. tuberculata, with predominantly parthenogenetic reproduction and direct development (Livshits and Fishelson 1983). Snails of this family feed on detritus and microalgae (Miranda and Perissinotto 2012).


Algae, Aquatic plants

Trophic Status:




General HabitatNontidal FreshwaterNone
General HabitatFresh (nontidal) MarshNone
General HabitatGrass BedNone
General HabitatCoarse Woody DebrisNone
General HabitatSwampNone
General HabitatUnstructured BottomNone
Salinity RangeLimnetic0-0.5 PSU
Tidal RangeSubtidalNone
Vertical HabitatEpibenthicNone

Tolerances and Life History Parameters

Minimum Salinity (‰)0None
Maximum Length (mm)40Thompson (2004)
Broad Temperature RangeNoneSubtropical-Tropical
Broad Salinity RangeNoneNontidal Limnetic-Limnetic

General Impacts

No impacts have been reported for Melanoides turricula in Florida waters. Like M. tuberculata, it is a potential competitor with native freshwater snails (Warren 1997), but the extent of its abundance and distribution is unknown.

Regional Distribution Map

Bioregion Region Name Year Invasion Status Population Status
G070 Tampa Bay 1996 Def Estab
S180 St. Johns River 2009 Def Estab

Occurrence Map

OCC_ID Author Year Date Locality Status Latitude Longitude


Baker, Patrick; Baker, Shirley M.; Fajans, Jon (2004) Nonindigenous marine species in the greater Tampa Bay ecosystem., Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Tampa FL. Pp. <missing location>

Lee, Harry 2001-2015 Harry Lee's Florida Mollusca Checklists. <missing URL>

Livshits, G.; Fishelson, L. (1983) Biology and reproduction of the freshwater snail Melanoides tuberculata in Israel, Israel Journal of Zoology 32: 21-35

Mattson, Robert A. (2011) <missing title>, St. Johns River Water Management District, Palatka FL. Pp. unpaged

McCann, James A.; Arkin, Lori; Williams, James D. (1996) <missing title>, University of Florida, Center for Aquatic Plants, Gainesville. Pp. unpaged

Miranda, Nelson A. F.; Perissinotto, Renzo (2012) Stable isotope evidence for dietary overlap between alien and native gastropods in coastal lakes of northern Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, PLOS ONE 7(2): e31897

Thompson, Fred G. 2004 An identification manual for the freshwater snails of Florida an identification manual for the freshwater snails of florida an identification manual for the freshwater snails of florida an identification guide for the freshwater sn. <missing URL>

USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program 2003-2024 Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database.

Warren, Gary J. (1997) Strangers in Paradise: Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Island Press, Washington, D.C.. Pp. 101-108

Yang, Hoi Jeong; Kim, Chang Hyun (2010) Zoeal Stages of Lysmata vittata (Decapoda: Caridea: Hippolytidae) Reared in the Laboratory, Korean Journal of Systematic Zoology 26(3): 261-278