Last weekend we visited a local pond store where there were many outdoor ponds with various aquatic plants in them. While photographing the lilies and the goslings and the other such things, I also searched eagerly for snails in and around the ponds. As I was about to give up the hope of seeing just one snail after more than an hour of looking, I found one large empty aquatic shell in a small pond and then noticed a few more floating in another pond.
I retrieved 3 of the shells. Here is one of them.
If I am not mistaken, the species is Bellamya japonica, otherwise known as the Japanese mystery snail, a native of Japan, Taiwan and Korea. They have been in the U.S. since the late 19th century and have since made their way apparently even into the smallest ponds. In this post I wrote about my discovery of them in the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. in 2007.
Initially I thought the snails had probably been brought unintentionally from elsewhere with pond material or plants. I was in for a surprise. A few minutes later while looking at the fish tanks behind the store, I came upon a large tank full of the same snails. For sale!