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New Zealand Mud Snail

Scientific Name

Potamopyrgus antipodarum (J. E. Gray, 1853) (ITIS)

Common Name

New Zealand mud snail, Jenkin's spire shell


Hydrobia jenkinsi (Smith E. A., 1884), Potamopyrgus jenkinsi (Smith, 1889) (CABI)

Native To

New Zealand (NAS Database)

Date of U.S. Introduction

First discovered in Idaho in 1987 (NAS Database)

Means of Introduction

Unknown; possibly through ballast water or game fish imports (Zaranko et al. 1997; NAS Database)


Unknown; may displace and compete with native invertebrates (NAS Database)

Current U.S. Distribution

West Coast; Great Lakes; Chesapeake Bay

New Zealand mud snails

New Zealand mud snails


Photo by Mike Gangloff

Find more images


  • eDNA Latest Tool in Fight Against Invasive Species: The technique can assess DNA from water to track species

    • Apr 26, 2022
    • The Royal Institution of Australia. Cosmos Magazine: The Science of Everything.

    • In 2021 a team of scientists from the University of Iowa, US, deployed innovative eDNA detection techniques to identify water courses where the New Zealand mud snail may be hiding unseen, which should allow them to identify the scale of the problem and deploy early interventions to keep populations in check before they do visible, irreversible damage.

  • Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Urges Anglers And Boaters To Help Prevent Spread Of Invasive New Zealand Mudsnails

    • Apr 20, 2022
    • Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

    • Recent surveys by the PFBC and partner organizations have detected New Zealand mudsnails, roughly the size of a match head, in several popular cold-water trout fisheries in central and eastern Pennsylvania. In some infested waters, New Zealand Mudsnails have the potential to reach densities of hundreds or even thousands of snails per square foot. These snails are not harmful to humans but can compete with and negatively impact native freshwater invertebrate species, such as other snails and aquatic insects.

      Until recently, New Zealand Mudsnails were known to occur only in Lake Erie, Erie County; Spring Creek and Bald Eagle Creek, Centre County; and the Little Lehigh Creek in Lehigh and Berks counties. Surveys during 2020 revealed populations of snails in Trindle Spring Run, Cumberland County; Codorus Creek, York County; and Valley Creek, Chester County; prompting expanded surveys. Members of the public who observe suspected New Zealand Mudsnails or other aquatic invasive species may report their sightings to the Commission.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
Federal Government
State and Local Government