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 Post subject: Killer Shrimp
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:56 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:19 pm
Posts: 705
A highly predatory and aggressive freshwater invasive species that is rapidly dispersing throughout Europe and beyond. It was recently recorded in individual fisheries in England and Wales.

How do you identify it?

Maximum body length is 30 mm (20 mm for native Gammarus species)
Like Gammarus species, the body colouration may appear striped or uniform
Tail (urosome) with two distinctive cones (see photograph)
Large and powerful mandibles
Displays particularly aggressive behaviour
Why are we concerned?

Called the killer shrimp because it is a much more deadly predator than native shrimps, mainly due to its larger size and more powerful mouthparts. It preys on a wide range of fish-food insects and small fish, often killing but not eating its prey. It can rapidly replace native insects, thus damaging natural food webs in infested waters. This species can survive for at least six days out of water.

The life of a killer … shrimp

This "killer shrimp" is originally from near the Black and Caspian Seas. However, in the past 20 years, it spread across central and western Europe via waterways such as the Danube and Rhine.

It has many traits that make it a daunting invader: It grows rapidly, reaches sexual maturity early, can reproduce all year round, lays nearly 200 eggs per clutch, has wide food preferences, and can tolerate wide ranges of water temperature, salt and oxygen levels. And the whammy: It can survive for at least six days out of water.

"Dikerogammarus appears to be an extremely voracious predator and competitor, killing and eating its prey at a far faster rate than other similar animals," Ormerod said. "It also breeds very rapidly, and has quickly established large populations that appear so far to be unchecked by natural enemies."


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File comment: Killer shrimp voraciously attacking Zebra mussels.
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Dikerogammarus_on_zebra_mussels.jpg [ 62.25 KiB | Viewed 1541 times ]
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