iv id="navi">navigation Home Species Profiles Resources & Links Events & Trainings Site Info
Site Created
and Maintained By:
CTP Logo
© 2010



Veined Rapa Whelk

  Scientific Name:

Rapana venosa

 Common Name:

Veined rapa whelk (also: Asian rapa whelk)

 Native Range:

R. venosa is native to the Western Pacific Ocean, including the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the Bohai Sea.

 Established Range:

R. venosa has become established throughout the world, including locations in Asia, Europe, South America and North America.

 Established in Rhode Island?


 Date and Location of Introduction:

R. venosa was first established on the East Coast in 1998, at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

 Method of Introduction:

Unknown, but likely via ballast water


R. venosa lives on sandy bottoms in marine and brackish estuarine waters. It is tolerant of marine pollution and of oxygen-deficient waters. R. venosa can also survive in water temperatures between 4 and 27° C, with a wide range of salinities.


R. venosa is a highly selective carnivore that preys on other mollusk species, such as oysters and clams.

 Average Life Span:

R. venosa can live up to ten years.


R. venosa reproduces sexually during the winter and spring months, producing thousands of eggs.


R. venosa is an invasive species of particular concern because it has no local predators and has the potential to decimate the local shellfish population, which could have serious negative impacts on the shellfishing and aquaculture industries and the benthic environment.


There are no proven control methods for R. veinosa, however it has been suggested that blue crabs may be a possible biological control for these whelks in the Chesapeake Bay region. For more information on control methods for R. venosa, please visit the NEANS Panel Control Page.


 Works Cited:

Harding, J. M. 2001. Rapana venosa veined rapa whelk, Asian rapa whelk. Guide to Marine Invaders in the Gulf of Maine. Salem Sound Coastwatch. http://www.salemsound.org/mis/MISRapana.pdf

ISSG. 2006. Ecology of Rapana venosa. The Global Invasive Species Database. http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=691.

Mann, R., A. Occhipinti, and J.M. Harding. 2004. Alien Species Alert: Rapana venosa (veined whelk). International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, Copenhagen, Denmark. http://www.ices.dk/pubs/crr/crr264/crr264.pdf