Rapa Whelk

Image of a rapa whelk, a large marine snail retreated into its shell
(Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)

Rapa whelks, native to Asia, have invaded the Chesapeake Bay and are raising concerns about economic and ecological impacts to the Bay region due to their shellfish diet. Scientists believe that this non-native species reached the Chesapeake by hitching a ride across the Atlantic, probably as larvae in a ship's ballast water.

Learn more about how invasive species can be transported in ballast water, and read about 5 Invasive Species You Should Know.