Highly invasive snail spotted in Kerala

What is the News?

Researchers have found a tiny snail species named Physella Acuta also known as acute bladder snail in the Edappally canal in Kochi, Kerala. This snail species is globally branded as a Highly Invasive Species.

Note: An invasive species is an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.
About Physella Acuta (acute bladder snail)

Physella acuta is a snail species. It is considered native to North America but is now found in all continents except Antarctica. 

The snail is small in size with a striking, pellucid, golden-yellow shell. It can also easily be identified by its sinistral (left-opening aperture) shell.

Its good looks make this snail a favourite of aquariums. However, special care should be taken while dealing with this snail and it should not be kept in home aquariums.

It was first reported in India in the early 1990s. It has been reported for the first time in Kerala. It is believed to have reached Kerala through the aquarium trade, a major vector for invasive species. 

Why is Physella Acuta considered an Invasive Species?

Physella Acuta plays host to worms that can cause food-borne diseases and skin itches in humans.  Moreover, its rapid growth rate, air-breathing capability, and tolerance to pollution makes the Physella acuta a potential competitor to native fauna.

Source: This post is based on the articleHighly invasive snail spotted in Kerala published in The Hindu on 7th December 2021.

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