Physella Acuta

DEC 7

Preliminary   > Environment and Ecology   >   Miscellaneous   >   Species in news

Why in news?

  • A tiny snail species named Physella Acuta (also known as acute bladder snail) found in Kerala has been flagged as an invasive species that could play havoc with native ecosystems.
  • This snail species is globally branded as a highly invasive species.

About Physella Acuta:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Threats posed:

  • 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.

PRACTICE QUESTION:

Physella Acuta, recently seen in news, is:

(a) A tree-borne oilseed suitable for biodiesel production

(b) A tiny snail species globally branded as a highly invasive species

(c) A tree species in semi-arid and arid ecosystems

(d) A bacterium capable of breaking down and consuming the plastic polyethylene terephthalate

Answer