A study of the intermediate snail hosts of Schistosoma mansoni in Lake Victoria at Mwanza, Tanzania, was begun in October 1969, the main aims being to investigate the distribution and seasonal variations in population densities of Biomphalaria choanomphala and B. sudanica in relation to the nature of the lake bottom and the biological features of the lake shore, the factors influencing variations in the intensity of S. mansoni transmission along the Mwanza shoreline, and the age structure of populations of B. choanomphala. Field surveys were made at 70 sites near Mwanza and in nearby bays, B. choanomphala being collected from the lake bottom by means of a wire-mesh dredge. Variations in the distribution and population density of B. choanomphala were correlated with the nature of the bottom and its depth profiles at depths of 0.5-6.0 m. Approximately 1-20 snails/m(2) were found on mixed sand and mud but only about 1 snail/m(2) on the predominantly muddy bottom farther out from the shore. Seasonal variations in the age structure and fluctuations in the population densities of B. choanomphala of as much as 10-13-fold were observed. A large and a small form of B. choanomphala, possibly ecophenotypes, were found. S. mansoni infection rates in B. choanomphala ranged from 0.2% to 3.3%, suggesting a tendency to higher infection rates in mature snails.