Red-rimmed Melania (Melanoides tuberculatus)
Invertebrates Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Red-rimmed Melania (Melanoides tuberculatus)
Red-rimmed Melania in stream habitat with native Moapa White River Springfish and Moapa Pebblesnails.

General: We don't often think of snails in the Mojave Desert, but various species of snails can be found in springs and streams throughout the desert. Because their habitat -- water in the desert -- always is in danger of drying out, the endemic aquatic snails are considered species of concern. Unfortunately, the endemic snails also have to compete with non-native species such as the Red-rimmed Melania, with is many times the size if the native species.

Red-rimmed Melania have elongate, twisted shells, with typically five twists and a length that is twice as long as the width of the opening. Red-rimmed Melania eat algae and compete with native species for food. This species is also a vector for several wildlife diseases and diseases that can infect humans.

Taxonomy: Family Thiaridae.

Red-rimmed Melania (Melanoides tuberculatus)

Red-rimmed Melania are native to Asia and Africa. Around Las Vegas, look for this species in the warm springs and outflows at the head of the Muddy River where water emerges at about 88°F. The Moapa National Wildlife Refuge protects habitat for native species, but unfortunately, this species also benefits from the habitat protection.

Please be careful around springs so as not to damage the habitat or injure the snails. Don't wash in springs because soap will hurt them. Goldfish and other non-native species that people put in springs are a problem for the pebblesnails too.

Red-rimmed Melania (Melanoides tuberculatus) Shells of Red-rimmed Melania and Moapa Pebblesnails (lower left)in stream habitat.
Red-rimmed Melania (Melanoides tuberculatus) Shell of a dead Red-rimmed Melania.
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 090902

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