ArticlePDF Available

First record of the acute bladder snail Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805) in the wild waters of Lithuania

BioInvasions Records (2019) Volume 8, Issue 2: 281–286
Butkus et al. (2019), BioInvasions Records 8(2): 281–286, 281
Rapid Communication
First record of the acute bladder snail Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805)
in the wild waters of Lithuania
Rokas Butkus1,*, Giedrė Višinskienė2 and Kęstutis Arbačiauskas2,3
1Marine Research Institute, Klaipėda University, Herkaus Manto Str. 84, LT-92294 Klaipėda, Lithuania
2Nature Research Centre, Akademijos str. 2, LT-08412 Vilnius, Lithuania
3Department of Zoology, Institute of Biosciences, Vilnius University, Saulėtekio al. 7, LT-10257 Vilnius, Lithuania
*Corresponding author
The acute bladder snail Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805) was observed for the
first time in the wild waters of Lithuania at one site in the lower reaches of the
Nevėžis River in 2015. The restricted distribution and low density suggest recent
introduction. Although P. acuta in the first half of the 20th century was reported in
ponds of the Kaunas Botanical Garden, they appear to have vanished as of 2012.
Thus we conclude that recent invasion into the wild most probably has resulted
from disposal of aquarium organisms.
Key words: aquarium trade, local distribution, recent introduction, river
The acute bladder snail Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805) (in synonymy
with Physa acuta Draparnaud, 1805) is a small air-breathing snail with a
left-handed (sinistral) light horny yellowish shell and pointed apex. It is
one of the most widespread freshwater snail invaders. The species was first
described from France and this led to early speculation of a European
origin for the species. It is now established that North America is the native
range of the species (Dillon et al. 2002; Anderson 2003; Taylor 2003;
Lydeard et al. 2016). Currently P. acuta is widespread and occurs on all
continents except Antarctica (Bousset et al. 2014; Ng et al. 2015).
In Lithuania, P. acuta was historically reported from artificial ponds of
the Kaunas Botanical Garden (Schlesch 1937; Schlesch and Krausp 1938;
Šivickis 1960); however, the species has never been seen in wild waters. The
snail inhabits natural freshwater bodies in neighbouring countries, in
particular Poland and Belarus (Semenchenko et al. 2008; Lewin et al. 2015),
and invasion of the species into Lithuanian wild waters has been predicted
(Butkus et al. 2014). In this work, we report the first record of P. acuta in
the wild waters of Lithuania and discuss the probable vectors of
Citation: Butkus R, Višinskienė G,
Arbačiauskas K (2019) First record of the
acute bladder snail Physella acuta
(Draparnaud, 1805) in the wild waters of
Lithuania. BioInvasions Records 8(2):
Received: 11 October 2018
Accepted: 25 February 2019
Published: 29 April 2019
Thematic editor: David Wong
Copyright: © Butkus et al.
This is an open access article distributed under terms
of the Creative Commons Attribution License
(Attribution 4.0 International - CC BY 4.0).
First record of Physella acuta in the wild waters of Lithuania
Butkus et al. (2019), BioInvasions Records 8(2): 281–286, 282
Figure 1. Sampling sites (closed circles, n = 61) in the 13 Lithuanian rivers surveyed for
nonindigenous macroinvertebrates (A) and the locality of the record of Physella acuta (B). The
red circle and the star indicate the sampling site at which the species was recorded; ‘X’ shows
the location of the Kaunas Botanical Garden.
Materials and methods
A survey of macroinvertebrates was conducted at 61 sites in the 13 largest
rivers of Lithuania in 2015 (Figure 1). All samples were collected using a
standard dip net. For each study site, semi-quantitative samples—one kick
sample and one sweep sample per site—were collected in wadeable depths
(up to 150 cm) using a 5-min sampling effort for each sample. In the field,
the whole collected material was fixed in 4% formaldehyde. In the
laboratory, samples were sorted and molluscs were preserved in 70%
ethanol until further investigation. The snail P. acuta was identified based
on its left-handed (sinistral) shell with pointed apex, the well-distinctive
feature of the species (Šivickis 1960).
First record of Physella acuta in the wild waters of Lithuania
Butkus et al. (2019), BioInvasions Records 8(2): 281–286, 283
Figure 2. The shell of a Physella acuta found in the Nevėžis River. Photograph by R. Butkus.
Of the 61 sites sampled, P. acuta (Figure 2) was detected at one site in the
lower reaches of the Nevėžis River (lat. 23°47′39.8″; long. 54°55′57.8″;
Figure 1). Although the snail was not present in the kick sample, 24
individuals were found in the sweep sample. The species was absent from
the adjacent upriver site and nearest sampling point in river Nemunas,
which were ~ 2.8 km and ~ 6 km away, respectively.
Physella acuta comprised 2.5% of total mollusc abundance at the
detection site. Two other non-indigenous mollusc species were detected
there—Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771) and Lithoglyphus naticoides
(Pfeiffer, 1828). The latter snail was the dominant mollusc species by
number. Native molluscs were represented by the bivalves Anodonta anatina
(Linnaeus, 1758), Sphaerium corneum (Linnaeus, 1758), Sphaerium rivicola
(Lamarck, 1818), Pisidium amnicum (O. F. Müller, 1774) and the gastropods
Gyraulus albus (Müller, 1774), Lymnea stagnalis (Linnaeus, 1758), Radix
auricularia (Linnaeus, 1758), Bithynia tentaculata (Linnaeus, 1758) and
Viviparus viviparus (Linnaeus, 1758).
Physella acuta was recorded for the first time in a natural habitat, i.e. wild
waters, in Lithuania in the lower reaches of the Nevėžis River. Previously
the species had been reported exclusively from ponds of the Kaunas
Botanical Garden (lat. 23°5437; long. 54°5215; Figure 1) (Schlesch 1937;
Schlesch and Krausp 1938; Šivickis 1960). However, the most recent survey
performed in 2012 did not detect the species at that site. The long-term
application of herbicides for aquatic weed control may have caused the
local extinction of P. acuta from these ponds (Butkus et al. 2014).
First record of Physella acuta in the wild waters of Lithuania
Butkus et al. (2019), BioInvasions Records 8(2): 281–286, 284
The exact time, source and vector of P. acuta’s recent invasion into the
wild in Lithuania remains undetermined, although some assumptions and
conclusions can be drawn. Natural dispersal from neighbouring countries
in which it is present is possible, but unlikely. Physella acuta has been
recorded in the Nemunas River basin in Belarus ~ 30–40 km upstream
from the Lithuanian border (Semenchenko et al. 2008). Thus, downstream
migration may have occurred. However, P. acuta has not been seen in the
main waterway of the Nemunas River, either in the 2008 survey (Butkus et
al. 2014) or the 17 sites surveyed in this 2015 investigation.
The potential for dispersal from ponds in the Kaunas Botanical Garden
when the species existed previously to the Nemunas and further to the
Nevėžis cannot be excluded. There is a small possibility that descendants of
P. acuta snails from the Kaunas Botanical Garden dispersed naturally and
they may be in the lag phase of expansion and still at undetectable density.
However, the species was not recorded in rivers in 2008 (Butkus et al.
2014) and the present study recorded it as absent from the Nemunas.
Our current data coincide with the results of other studies (Yakovleva et
al. 2011; Semenchenko et al. 2008) indicating restricted distribution and
rather low density of P. acuta. This can be interpreted as indicating quite
recent introduction of the snail. The species locality is situated in densely
populated area, the suburb of the Kaunas City, thus, the introduction of the
species through release of aquarium organisms into the Nevėžis River
seems the most probable source of the recent invasion. The primary
introduction of the snail into the ponds of the Kaunas Botanical Garden in
the first half of 20th century may also have resulted from the aquarium
trade, which is assumed to be a primary factor in the wordwide dispersion
of this species (Duggan 2010; Vinarski 2017).
The aquarium trade is considered one of the most important vectors for
the spread of various aquatic organisms, and has been linked to the
introduction of more than 150 animal species to natural ecosystems
around the world (Chang et al. 2009). The increasing popularity of
ornamental organisms in both private and public aquariums has promoted
the human-mediated spread of P. acuta. Around the 1910s, the species
became a common organism in botanical gardens in most countries of
Northern and Central Europe (Vinarski 2017). The release of ornamental
organisms outside their native range is a very common introduction vector
responsible for primary and secondary invasions (Koehn and MacKenzie
2004; Duggan 2010; Fuller 2015).
Currently P. acuta is recorded at only one site in the Nevėžis River.
However, this invasive snail may be more widespread in Lithuanian inland
waters, and evaluation of its exact distribution is warranted. Although
P. accuta is considered to be a warm water species, it’s occurrence in
neighbouring countries suggests the climatic conditions in Lithuania to be
suitable for the long-term survival of the species. Human-mediated
First record of Physella acuta in the wild waters of Lithuania
Butkus et al. (2019), BioInvasions Records 8(2): 281–286, 285
introductions via release of aquarium organisms (Duggan 2010),
anthropogenic alteration of natural habitats (Strzelec et al. 2006; Spyra and
Strzelec 2014) and natural species dispersal may allow P. acuta to further
expand its range into Lithuanian waters.
We thank anonymous peer referees for valuable comments on an early draft of the article. The
study was supported by the Research Council of Lithuania, Project No. SIT-10/2015 and the
European Social Fund under the No 09.3.3-LMT-K-712 “Development of Competences of
Scientists, other Researchers and Students through Practical Research Activities” measure.
Anderson R (2003) Physella (Costatella) acuta Draparnaud in Britain and Ireland, its taxonomy,
origins and relationship to other introduced Physidae. Journal of Conchology 38: 7–21
Butkus R, Šidagytė E, Rakauskas V, Arbačiauskas K (2014) Distribution and current status of
non-indigenous mollusc species in Lithuanian inland waters. Aquatic Invasions 9: 95–103,
Bousset L, Pointier JP, David P, Jarne P (2014) Neither variation loss, nor change in selfing rate
is associated with the worldwide invasion of Physa acuta from its native North America.
Biological Invasions 16: 1769–83,
Chang AL, Grossman JD, Spezio TS, Weiskel KW, Blum JC, Burt JW, Muir AA, Piovia-Scott
J, Veblen KE, Groscholz ED (2009) Tackling aquatic invasions: risks and opportunities for
the aquarium fish industry. Biological Invasions 11: 773–785,
Dillon RT, Wethington AR, Rhett JM, Smith TP (2002) Populations of the European freshwater
pulmonate Physa acuta are not reproductively isolated from American Physa heterostropha
or Physa integra. Invertebrate Biology 121: 226–234,
Duggan IC (2010) The freshwater aquarium trade as a vector for incidental invertebrate fauna.
Biological Invasions 12: 3757–3770,
Fuller PL (2015) Vectors of invasions in freshwater invertebrates and fishes. In: Canning-Clode
J (ed), Biological invasions in changing ecosystems. Vectors, ecological impacts,
management and predictions, De Gruyter Open, Warshaw/Berlin, pp 88–115,
Yakovleva AV, Yakovlev VA, Mezikova DV (2011) First records of the North American
gastropod Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805) in the Kuybyshev Water Reservoir, Russia.
Russian Journal of Biological Invasions 2: 60,
Koehn JD, Mackenzie R (2004) Priority management actions for alien freshwater fish species in
Australian. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 38: 457–472,
Lewin I, Spyra A, Krodkiewska M, Strzelec M (2015) The importance of the mining subsidence
reservoirs located along the trans-regional highway in the conservation of the biodiversity
of freshwater molluscs in industrial areas (Upper Silesia, Poland). Water, Air, and Soil
Pollution 226: 189,
Lydeard C, Campbell D, Golz M (2016) Physa acuta Draparnaud, 1805 should be treated as a
native of North America, not Europe. Malacologia 59: 347–350,
Ng TH, Tan SK, Yeo DCJ (2015) Clarifying the identity of the long-established, globally-
invasive Physa acuta Draparnaud, 1805 (Gastropoda: Physidae) in Singapore. BioInvasions
Records 4: 189–194,
Schlesch H (1937) Bemerkungen über die Verbreitung der Süsswasser- und Meeresmollusken
im östlichen Ostseegebiete [Remarks on the distribution of freshwater and marine molluscs
in the eastern Baltic areas]. Tartu Ülikooli juures oleva Loodusuurijate Seltsi Aruanded 43:
Schlesch H, Krausp C (1938) Zur Kenntniss der Land- und Süsswassermollusken Litauens [To
the knowledge of the land and freshwater molluscs in Lithuania]. Archiv für
Molluskenkunde 70: 73–125
Semenchenko VP, Laenko T, Razlutsky VI (2008) A new record of North American gastropod
Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805) from the Neman river basin, Belarus. Aquatic Invasions
3: 359–360,
Spyra A, Strzelec M (2014) Identifying factors linked to the occurrence of alien gastropods in
isolated woodland water bodies. Naturwissenschaften 101: 229–239,
First record of Physella acuta in the wild waters of Lithuania
Butkus et al. (2019), BioInvasions Records 8(2): 281–286, 286
Strzelec M, Spyra A, Serafinski W (2006) Over thirty years of Physella acuta (Draparnaud,
1805) expansion in the Upper Silesia and adjacent regions (Southern Poland).
Malakologische Abhandlungen/Museum für Tierkunde Dresden 24: 49–55
Šivickis PB (1960) Lietuvos moliuskai ir jų apibūdinimas [Lithuanian molluscs and their
identification]. Institute of Zoology and Parasitology, Vilnius, Lithuania, 352 pp
Taylor DW (2003) Introduction to Physidae (Gastropoda: Hygrophila). Biogeography,
classification, morphology. Revista de Biología Tropical 51(Suppl. 1): 1–287
Vinarski MV (2017) The history of an invasion: phases of the explosive spread of the physid
snail Physella acuta through Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Biological Invasions
19: 1299–1314,
... The acute bladder snail Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805) and the New Zealand mud snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (J.E. Gray, 1843) are good examples of biological invaders in Class Gastropoda (Alonso et al., 2019;Butkus et al., 2019). Another successful freshwater gastropod invader is Helisoma duryi (Wetherby, 1879), a medium-sized planorbid endemic to Florida (Baker, 1945) which has migrated from its native range to South America, Europe, Africa, and adjacent islands (Alexandrowicz, 2003;Bank & Neubert, 2017;Gherardi, 2007;Glöer, 2019). ...
Full-text available
The exotic freshwater mollusc Helisoma duryi is a popular ornamental freshwater snail used to control microalgae in aquariums which occurs now as an introduced species in aquatic habitats of Europe, Africa and South America. We report the first finding of an acclimated population of H. duryi in Morocco and discuss the possible role of the trade of aquatic species in its introduction. While currently located in a single locality out of > 100 localities sampled, further studies are required to monitor its presence and expansion and to improve our knowledge about their possible impact on native freshwater communities. RESUMEN Primera cita del caracol exótico Helisoma duryi (Wetherby, 1879), (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) en Marruecos El molusco exótico Helisoma duryi es un popular caracol ornamental de agua dulce que se utiliza para controlar las microalgas en los acuarios. Ahora se presenta como una especie introducida en hábitats acuáticos de Europa, África y América del Sur. Presentamos el primer hallazgo de una población aclimatada de H. duryi en Marruecos y el norte de África. A pesar de ubicarse en una única localidad de las más de 100 muestreadas por nosotros, las investigaciones en curso podrían revelar pronto más citas de la especie en el país y el resto del continente. Se deben establecer políticas y procedimientos estrictos de aplicación de la ley en el comercio de especies acuáticas como medida preventiva para preservar la biodiversidad nativa. Palabras clave. Especies exóticas invasoras, comercio de especies de acuario, hábitats dulceacuícolas, norte de África, Planorbidae. Recibido/
... Percentage of terrestrial plants invading the BSR by their native origin, includes 606 terrestrial plants present in at least two countries of the BSR and whose records have been verified. Pagination not final (cite DOI) / Pagination provisoire (citer le DOI) as species of Mediterranean origin were not considered here as Mediterranean because their origin in other sources was contradictory: Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805), its native origin was recently found to be North America (Butkus et al. 2019); Arion lusitanicus Mabile, 1868, native to central Europe (Pfenninger et al. 2014); Armadillidium nasatum Budde-Lund, 1885, central European origin (; Chromaphis juglandicola (Kaltenbach, 1843), Asiatic origin (Hougardy and Mills 2009); Anarsia lineatella Zeller, 1839, Asiatic origin (Damos 2018); Ovis ammon Linnaeus, 1766, Asiatic origin (Bunch et al. 2000); and Vitis vinifera L., anecophyte . ...
Due to globalization and climate warming, the introduction and establishment of alien species has increased in recent years. The Mediterranean Sea Region (MSR) has not been explored as a common donor of alien species to the Baltic Sea Region (BSR); however, in the context of global warming, the BSR could be more suitable for alien species from the MSR. We evaluated the alien species of Mediterranean origin present in the BSR, with emphasis on aggressive, aquatic and terrestrial species spread in at least two countries of the BSR. Introduction pathways and the year of first record in the BSR were assessed for Mediterra-nean species. Using an analytical hierarchy process, we also performed a risk assessment for aggressive Mediterranean species in the BSR. In total, 6145 alien species were recorded in the BSR, but only 3033 species were verified. For 292 of these species, there is evidence of impact in the BSR, 10 of these (3.4%) are native to the MSR (six animals (Alphitophagus bifasciatus, Chrysolina americana, Tenebrio molitor, Limax maximus, Oxychilus draparnaudi, and Limacus flavus) and four plants (Linaria repens, Veronica filiformis, Prunus cerasifera, and Viola odorata)). Based on the risk assessment, eight of them represent moderate risk (L. flavus, L. maximus, O. draparnaudi, T. molitor, L. repens, V. filiformis, V. odorata, and P. cerasifera). In total, 715 freshwater and terrestrial species are spread in at least two countries of the BSR: 131 of them (18.3%) are of Mediterranean origin, all of them are terrestrial species (123 plants and eight animals). In general, Mediterranean plants were recorded earlier than animals in the BSR, as most of the plants were recorded in the years 1651-1750 and 1801-1900. Seven of the eight Mediterranean animals were introduced as contaminants of food, plants, or nursery material. Most of the Mediterranean plants in the BSR escaped from agriculture or horticulture (46.1%) or were transported as contaminants on animals or as seed contaminants (33.6%). This study is a first evaluation of the flux of species from the MSR to the BSR and will help the stakeholders to make decisions to prevent and control alien species in the BSR. Résumé : En raison de la mondialisation et du réchauffement climatique, l'introduction et l'établissement d'espèces exotiques se sont accrus ces dernières années. La région de la mer Méditerranée (RMM) n'a pas été explorée en tant que donneur fréquent d'espèces exotiques à la région de la mer Baltique (RMB). Toutefois, dans le contexte du réchauffement climatique, la RMB pourrait convenir davantage aux espèces exotiques de la RMM. Les auteurs ont évalué les espèces exotiques d'origine méditer-ranéenne présentes dans la RMB, en mettant l'accent sur la propagation d'espèces agressives, aquatiques et terrestres dans au moins deux pays de la RMB. Les voies d'introduction et l'année de la première mention d'espèces méditerranéennes dans la RMB ont été évaluées. À l'aide d'un processus d'analyse hiérarchique, les auteurs ont aussi réalisé une évaluation des risques des espèces agressives méditerranéennes dans la RMB. Au total, 6145 espèces exotiques ont été recensées dans la RMB, mais 3033 espèces ont été vérifiées seulement. De ces species, 292 ont un impact avéré sur la RMB, dont 10 (3,4 %) sont indigènes à la RMM (six espèces animales (Alphitophagus bifasciatus, Chrysolina americana, Tenebrio molitor, Limax maximus, Oxychilus draparnaudi et Limacus flavus) et quatre espèces végétales (Linaria repens, Veronica filiformis, Prunus cerasifera et Viola odorata)). Selon l'évaluation des risques, huit d'entre elles présentent des risques modérés (L. flavus, L. maximus, O. draparnaudi, T. molitor, L. repens, V. filiformis, V. odorata et P. cerasifera). Au total, 715 espèces d'eau douce et terrestres se sont disséminées dans au moins deux pays de la RMB: 131 d'entre elles (18,3 %) étaient d'origine méditerranéenne et toutes étaient des espèces terrestres (123 plantes et huit animaux). En général, les plantes méditerranéennes étaient recensées avant les animaux dans la RMB, la plupart des plantes ayant été recensées dans les années 1651-1750 et 1801-1900. Sept des huit animaux méditerranéens ont été introduits comme contaminants de la nourriture, des plantes ou de pépinières. La plupart des plantes méditerranéennes de la RMB s'étaient échappées de l'agriculture ou de l'horticulture (46,1 %) ou avaient été transportées comme contaminants sur des animaux ou comme contaminants des semences (33,6 %). Cette étude constitue la première évaluation du flux d'espèces de la RMM vers la RMB et elle aidera les intervenants à prendre des décisions visant à prévenir et contrôler les espèces exotiques dans la RMB. [Traduit par la Rédaction]
The globally invasive acute bladder snail Physella acuta is recorded for the first time from southern India with its mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene sequence for the first time from India. They are host to many trematodes causing foodborne diseases in humans. The snail found attached to invasive freshwater plant Ceratophyllum demersum and other gastropod species Indoplanorbis exustus and Racesina luteola. The density of P. acuta was recorded as 25 ± 10 individuals per 50 cm long shoot. The shell length of the snail ranged between 3.2-7 mm, shell width 2-4 mm, aperture length 2.4-5.2 mm, aperture width 1-2 mm, and spire height 0.9-1.8 mm. The dead vacant shell has brownish yellow colour while live individuals are translucent with a golden yellowish colour. The nucleotide BLAST results showed 100% similarity with the P. acuta sequences reported from Iraq. The specimen also showed a close match with the mtDNA COI sequence from Singapore, Thailand, Southeast Europe, France, Chile and the United States. The introduction of the snail to India is mainly through the aquarium trade. Their rapid growth rate, high reproduction rate, air-breathing capabilities and pollution tolerance make them a potential competitor of native fauna.
Full-text available
Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805) is an aquatic pulmonate snail notorious for its high invasive potential. Of New World origin, this species now occurs on all continents. The aim of this study was to trace P. acuta dispersal through the Western Palearctic starting from its first arrival in the Old World and to determine possible drivers of this process. A range of literary sources as well as some rich European malacological collections have been consulted to ascertain the dates of the first finding of P. acuta in the countries of Europe, Transcaucasia, and Central Asia and to map the most significant localities. The shell characteristics of this species are so distinctive that they almost preclude misidentification and confusion with any native species. This allows one to rely on historical records, including older sources (18th to the first half of the 19th centuries). The earliest reliable records of P. acuta in the Old World can be dated to 1742, which implies an earlier date for the first arrival of the species in Europe, possibly in the 17th century. Its introduction may be explained either by accidental dispersal mediated by humans (for example, during transport of exotic plants to European botanical gardens) or by natural causes (long-distance dispersal from the Americas to Europe). Three successive phases leading to the current invasive range of P. acuta in the Western Palearctic can be identified. The species’ current Old World range can be viewed as a result of the interaction of natural and anthropogenic factors. The human-mediated drivers of dispersal include canal building, the aquarium trade and, more recently, alteration of natural freshwater habitats.
Full-text available
Physa acuta (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia: Physidae) is a freshwater snail commonly found in North American rivers, streams and ponds. Despite its widespread distribution across the United States, it is generally regarded as an invasive species. As a result, P. acuta receives no attention during conservation management inventories. However, data suggest that P. acuta may be a native to North America rather than to Europe, where it was first described. First, the fossil record in Europe lacks P. acuta, whereas North America is home to numerous fossils of members of the acuta species group. Second, breeding studies among P. acuta and North American taxa from the acuta species group show no evidence of pre- or postzygotic isolation. Third, investigations of reproductive anatomy between P. acuta and other nominal species of the acuta species group are indistinguishable, leading investigators to synonymize taxa. Finally, phylogenetic data do not support the distinction of P. acuta from its North American congeners of the same species group. Together, these data support our case that P. acuta is a North American native.
Full-text available
The freshwater pulmonate family Physidae is represented in Britain and Ireland by two naturally occurring species, Aplexa hypnorum (L.) and Physa (Physa) fontinalis (L.). Physella (Physella) gyrina (Say), a species native to North America, has recently been reported from Lough Neagh in Ireland and there are earlier records for western Britain (Anderson 1996). Another putative North American species, Physella (Costatella) acuta (Draparnaud), is widespread in Britain and is reported also for the first time from Ireland. Unlike gyrina, the home range of acuta in North America is unknown and there is confusion about its identity there. A case is made for synonymising Physella heterostropha (Say), native to the eastern and south-eastern US, with P. acuta. The current state of taxonomy in the subfamily Physinae is briefly discussed.
Full-text available
The objectives of the survey were to analyse the structure of the mollusc communities in the mining subsidence reservoirs that were created as a result of land subsidence over exploited hard coal seams and to determine the most predictive environmental factors that influence the distribution of mollusc species. The reservoirs are located in urbanised and industrialised areas along the Trans-Regional Highway, which has a high volume of vehicular traffic. They all have the same sources of supply but differ in the physical and chemical parameters of the water. In total, 15 mollusc species were recorded including four bivalve species. Among them Anodonta cygnea is classified as Endangered according to the Polish Red Data Book of Animals and also as Near Threatened according to the European Red List of Non-marine Molluscs. Eleven of the 15 mollusc species are included on the European Red List of Non-marine Molluscs as Least Concern. Conductivity, pH and the concentration of calcium were the parameters most associated with the distribution of mollusc species. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that Potamopyrgus antipodarum, Radix balthica, Physella acuta, Gyraulus crista and Pisidium casertanum were associated with higher conductivity and lower pH values. A. cygnea, Anodonta anatina and Ferrissia fragilis were negatively influenced by these parameters of the water. The results of this survey showed that the mining subsidence reservoirs located in urbanised and industrialised areas provide refuges for rare and legally protected species and that they play an essential role in the dispersal of alien species as well.
Full-text available
We present a comprehensive overview of distribution data of non-indigenous mollusc species in Lithuanian inland waters. The data are based on our own observations obtained during 2007–2013 as well as on published and unpublished records from the last 80 years. Four nonindigenous species have been reported to occur in Lithuanian freshwaters: Dreissena polymorpha, Lithoglyphus naticoides, Potamopyrgus antipodarumand Physella acuta. The last species, however, has not been found in Lithuania since the 1950s. D. polymorpha is the most widespread non-indigenous mollusc species inLithuania. It was observed in 159 out of226 investigated localities. The other species are less common. L. naticoideswas recorded in 43 sites, whereas P. antipodarumwas found in 35 localities. In addition to the possible reappearance of P. acuta,four more mollusc species which are currently absent from Lithuanian freshwaters have beenreported as non-indigenous from neighbouring countries and thus might potentially invade Lithuanian inland waters in the future.
Full-text available
Biological invasions are a significant component of human-caused global change and is widely regarded as one of the main threats to natural biodiversity. Isolated anthropogenic water bodies created in the areas that are deprived of natural freshwater habitats allow the survival and reproduction of alien species on newly settled sites. They are often small with water level fluctuations causing frequent environmental disturbances. The colonisation success may be the result of the rate of their degradation. The aims of the study were to determine the environmental conditions that affect the existence of alien species of gastropods in this type of aquatic environment and to examine whether the occurrence of non-native species affects the community structure of the native species. This study made it possible to group woodland ponds according to the occurrence of the three invasive species in snail communities and discuss the environmental conditions present in these pond types. Analysis of water properties emphasised the distinctiveness of the selected pond types. In ponds of the Potamopyrgus antipodarum type, we found the highest values of some parameters mainly hardness, conductivity, and content of calcium and chlorides, in contrast with the Physella acuta type, which were characterised by the lowest values except for phosphates and nitrites. In the Ferrissia fragilis type, we found the highest nitrate content. Data on the occurrence of alien species in different water environments play an important role in actions which are taken to prevent new invasions and spread of non-native species as well as to reduce future impacts of invaders.
Full-text available
The gastropod Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805) has been recorded for the first time on shallow shore areas in the Volga Reach of Kuybyshev Water Reservoir, Russia during a sampling in 1998, and for the second time in the same Volga Reach in 2009. The way of its invasion is still unknown. Possibly, this gastropod was introduced from aquariums, and, less possibly, migrated from the lower reaches of the Volga River.
Full-text available
The North American gastropod Physella acuta (Draparnaud 1805) has been recorded for the first time in the Neman River basin, Belarus during a biological survey carried out on 23 August 2007. One specimen was found in a shallow water microhabitat (depth 0.2 m) amongst sand and mud. Most likely, this alien gastropod was introduced either by local aquarium keepers, or from Poland via the Augustov canal.
Whether bioinvasions are associated with a loss of genetic diversity and a change in mating system is instrumental for understanding the evolutionary fate of invasive species. Little loss is expected under strong propagule pressure which might be a general situation in widespread, efficient invader. In hermaphroditic species, we have few examples of a transition between outcrossing and selfing as a consequence of invasion, though this is classically predicted (as a corollary to Baker’s law). We estimated microsatellite variation in 44 populations of the widespread freshwater snail Physa acuta sampled at worldwide scale (including several populations from its native North America). Neither loss of variation (or bottleneck), nor increase in selfing rate was detected in invaded areas. Moreover there was no isolation by distance at large geographic scale, and limited geographic coherence in genetic patterns was detected using STRUCTURE software—the West Mediterranean area being an exception. Such patterns might be explained by (1) multiple introductions in the invaded areas, presumably fostered by aquarium trade, followed by regional spread in some cases—in which case mating partners might be numerous enough to prevent transition towards higher selfing rates, and (2) invasions from the whole native area. This suggests that P. acuta is an exceptionally efficient invader (which is not true of related species), but the reasons of its success remain elusive.