Nonindigenous Aquatic Mollusks in Illinois
Keywords:Exotic species, Non-native aquatic species, NAS, Aquatic Invasive Species, AIS, Biofouling
Nonindigenous aquatic species (NAS), some of which are referred to as aquatic invasive species (AIS) or non-native aquatic species, are those aquatic organisms that have become established beyond their native ranges. They often inhabit a variety of habitats and physicochemical conditions, reach high densities, and alter ecosystem function. Understanding the distribution of nonindigenous aquatic species is vital to protecting native biodiversity in invaded ecosystems. A search of museum collections, literature accounts, and field surveys conducted in recent years by biologists from the Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and other agencies revealed 13 nonindigenous aquatic mollusk species reported to occur in Illinois. Ten species (five bivalves and five gastropods) have viable reproducing populations. One species, the Big-eared Radix Radix auricularia (Linnaeus, 1758), is no longer extant in Illinois, and two species, the European Stream Valvata Valvata piscinalis (Müller, 1774) and European Fingernail Clam Sphaerium corneum (Linnaeus, 1758), have an unknown status. Some species, such as the Basket Clam Corbicula fluminea (Müller, 1774), Zebra Mussel Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771), and Chinese Mysterysnail Cipangopaludina chinensis (Gray in Griffith and Pidgeon, 1833), are widespread and abundant. However, other species like the Mottled Fingernail Clam Eupera cubensis (Prime, 1865) and New Zealand Mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Gray, 1843) are currently restricted to a particular location or drainage. Other nonindigenous aquatic mollusks with the potential for becoming established in Illinois or border waters are also discussed.
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