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Columbia River Research Laboratory

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Species Studied

New Zealand Mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)

The New Zealand mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum, is a small aquatic snail that is an invasive non-indigenous species in the Pacific Northwest. Since it was first discovered in the Snake River, Idaho in 1987, it has spread rapidly throughout the Western United States and British Columbia, and has reached population densities as high as 300,000 snails/m2. At high densities, the New Zealand mudsnail (NZMS) can drastically alter aquatic food web structure. Mudsnails compete with native macroinvertebrate fauna for food and habitat, and are thought to be a poor food source for fish because they provide little energy and can pass through the digestive tract of fish undigested. Their potential to alter the Columbia River Basin’s benthic ecosystem is high due to their ability to spread through human activities, reproduce parthenogenetically, and rapidly colonize and occupy substrates at high densities. NZMS are readily transported from infested waters inadvertently through gear, boats and other human activities. More information on the New Zealand mudsnail can be found here: http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=1008

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Page Last Modified: Thursday, 08-Dec-2016 08:26:58 EST