Survival and behavior of Chinese mystery snails (Bellamya chinensis) in response to simulated water body drawdowns and extended air exposure.
Nonnative invasive mollusks degrade aquatic ecosystems and induce economic losses worldwide. Extended air exposure through water body drawdown is one management action used for control. In North America, the Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is an invasive aquatic snail with an expanding range, but eradication methods for this species are not well documented. We assessed the ability of B. chinensis to survive different durations of air exposure, and observed behavioral responses prior to, during, and following desiccation events. Individual B. chinensis specimens survived air exposure in a laboratory setting for >9 weeks, and survivorship was greater among adults than juveniles. Several B. chinensis specimens responded to desiccation by sealing their opercula and/or burrowing in mud substrate. Our results indicate that drawdowns alone may not be an effective means of eliminating B. chinensis. This study lays the groundwork for future management research that may determine the effectiveness of drawdowns when combined with factors such as extreme temperatures, predation, or molluscicides.