Chesapeake Bay Introduced Species Database

Myosotella myosotis

Common name(s):
salt marsh snail
Myosotella myosotis is a small brown salt marsh snail, native to Europe (British Isles, Mediterranean, etc.), that is sometimes called the mouse-ear marsh snail. It has been introduced into several locations including the East Coast of North America from Nova Scotia to the West Indies, the US west coast from Washington to California, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Introduction of this snail could have occurred by several means including, dry ballast (rocks and dirt used for weight on old sailing vessels), the oyster trade, and discarded packing material. Once these snails have been introduced to a new location their local range expansion is limited, thus their distribution remains spotty for years after introduction. These snails were first reported in Chesapeake Bay in 1900 in St. Leonard?s Creek, a Patuxent River tributary. But over the years they have shown up in several other locations including Fisherman's Island (Northampton Co), VA, at the mouth of the Bay, Norfolk, VA marshes, Crisfield, MD, and the Little Annemessex River in Maryland. Along the Atlantic Coast they have been reported in Chincoteague, Watt's Bay, Willis Wharf, and Hog Island Bay, VA. No negative impacts have been reported.
Image courtesy of Auguste Le Roux.


Myosotella myosotis


Auricularia myosotis; Alexia myosotis; Alexia setifer;Carychium myosotis; Convulvulus myosotis; Melampus myostis;Pythia myosotis; Alexia myostis marylandica; Carychium personatum; Alexia bermudensis; Voluta denticulata; Ovatella myosotis

Potentially Misidentified As:

Melampus bidentatus; Detracia floridana

Common Names:

Salt Marsh Snail; European Ovatella


Synonymy - Martins (1996) lists 88 synonyms, so the list given here consists primarily of names used in the Western Atlantic, or used frequently elsewhere. Authors and dates for some of these names are listed:

Auricularia myosotis; Draparnaud 1801, Alexia bermudensi Adams 1855, Voluta denticulata Gould 1841, Dall 1855, Auricularia denticulata Gould 1841, Phytia myostis marylandica Pilsbry 1900, Ovatella myosotis Meyer 1955, Myosotella myosotis Monterosato 1906 '

Phytia' is a misspelling of 'Pythia'. 'Myosotella' has usually been treated as a subgenus of Ovatella, but Martins (1996) raises it to full species rank.

This data was last modified on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013.
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