, Volume 11, Issue 8, pp 1821-1826
Date: 26 Oct 2008

Invasion of ancient Lake Titicaca by the globally invasive Physa acuta (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Hygrophila)

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A vital population of Physa acuta, a globally invasive species of freshwater gastropods was dicovered in ancient Lake Titicaca in April 2007. The population was found near Chucuito (Bahia de Puno) on the Peruvian side in close proximity to a boat landing of the aquaculture facility of the University of Puno. Physids occured in great abundances at this site on macrophytes in depths from 0 to 2 m. Physa acuta was associated with members of the Heleobia andicola species complex as well as with Heleobia otorni, Biomphalaria andecola, and Uncancylus crequi. Species identity was confirmed by morphological and molecular methods. We discuss the mode of introduction and raise a cautionary note on the potential impact of this global invader on the endemic gastropod fauna of ancient Lake Titicaca.