The Chinese mystery snail, Bellamya chinensis (Gray, 1834) is a gastropod native to East Asia and is considered an invasive species in North America where its impacts on native species and ecosystems are not well understood. Scientific literature describing its biology and life history are sparse. Thermal tolerance limits, or the maximum and minimum temperature under which a species can survive, are key to identifying the potential geographical range of a species. The ability of managers to control invasive species is directly impacted by the thermal tolerance limits of a species. We attempted to identify the thermal tolerance limits of B. chinensis in a laboratory setting. Using a random sampling design, we exposed groups of wild-caught B. chinensis to either extreme high or low temperature treatments. We identified the upper temperature tolerance limit as between 40 and 45 °C. This result indicates some hot water management techniques may successfully prevent spread of B. chinensis among waterways. Despite exposing B. chinensis to freezing temperatures for extended periods of time we did not identify a lower temperature limit. Identifying the thermal tolerance limits of this and other invasive species informs predictions of range expansion and identification of potential prevention efforts.
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Vol. 36 • No. 1