Two Asian freshwater snails newly introduced into South Africa and an analysis of alien species reported to date
Two Asian freshwater gastropods, Radix rubiginosa (Michelin, 1831) (Lymnaeidae) and Gyraulus chinensis (Dunker, 1848) (Planorbidae) are reported from a facility supplying fish and plants to the aquarium trade in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Neither species has been found in South Africa previously. Both are considered potentially invasive. Updated keys for Lymnaeidae and Gyraulus spp. in South Africa are presented. An analysis of data on the dates of first collection and regions of origin for all 14 freshwater snails known to have been introduced into the country, regardless of whether or not they have survived, shows three phases of introduction. These are (i) from North America between the 1940s and 1960s, (ii) from South America during the 1970s and 1980s and (iii) from Asia between the 1990s and the present. Further research may show two species long regarded as indigenous to also be introductions.
To cite this paper: Appleton, C.C. & Miranda, N.A.F. 2015. Two Asian freshwater snails newly introduced into South Africa and an analysis of alien species reported to date. African Invertebrates 56 (1): 1–17.
Published electronically: 21 January 2015.