New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Species in news: Physella Acuta

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Snail Physella Acuta

Mains level : Not Much

A tiny snail with a striking, pellucid golden-yellow shell found in the Edappally canal in Kochi has been flagged as an invasive species that could play havoc with native ecosystems.

Snail Physella Acuta

  • First described by J.P.R. Draparnaud in 1805, Physella acuta is considered native to North America but is now found in all continents except Antarctica.
  • The snail was first reported in India in the early 1990s.
  • It is believed to have reached Kerala through the aquarium trade, a major vector for invasive species.
  • In Kerala, the snail had made its home in a highly polluted reach plagued by high sedimentation, untreated sewage, commercial effluents, construction wastes and a thick growth of invasive aquatic weeds.

Threats posed

  • This snail 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 make it a potential competitor to native fauna.

 

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