Turkish Journal of Zoology




The Chinese pond mussel Sinanodonta woodiana (Lea, 1834) (Bivalvia: Unionidae) is among the most invasive freshwater species worldwide. The last decades have seen its rapid geographical spread beyond the species' natural range, particularly in anthropogenically modified water bodies across Asia, America, and Europe where it is now very common. In this paper, we also confirm the presence of S. woodiana in Africa (Algeria) by establishing the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Ramsar site Oubeira Lake as a new locality for its occurrence. In all likelihood, S. woodiana was accidentally introduced in the 1980s with Asian fish species imported from Hungary for stocking purposes. The present survey was conducted in the summer of 2020, and here we present the first data on several biological aspects of 141 S. woodiana specimens collected in the lake fringe area. The age structure varied from two to over height years old; medium- and large-sized individuals with shell lengths ranging from 102.23 to 183.55 cm accounted for 96% of sampled mussels. A study of the conchological features revealed that bivalves adopt the species' typical morphological trends. Overall, our findings showed that S. woodiana succeeded in establishing a viable population in Oubeira Lake, which allows for the assumption that additional records can be predicted at a regional scale in locations related to the lake water system in Algeria and Tunisia.


Sinanodonta woodiana, nonnative species, Oubeira Lake, Algeria, Africa

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