A species of Killer’ Shrimp Found in UK, Scientists Worried

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PostTue Sep 14, 2010 3:08 pm » by Savwafair2012

A species of Killer’ Shrimp Found in UK, Scientists Worried

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“killer” shrimp Dikerogammarus villosus has been found in the waters off the UK coast, causing concern among researchers, according to reports on Monday.

The non-native species is known to be invasive and could potentially cause major problems for the U.K.’s water ecosystems.

The shrimp eats a number of freshwater invertebrates including other shrimp, damselflies, small fish and water boatmen—all commonly found in Britain’s waters. It tends to aggressively pursue its prey, often leaving it dead but uneaten. It is known to have caused the extinction of several other species in other areas.

D. villosus, a much larger species than native UK shrimps, has proliferated across Western Europe in the past decade.

"We are devastated that this shrimp has been found in Britain,” Dr. Paul Leinster, head of UK’s Environment Agency, told BBC.

The shrimp occurs naturally in the steppe region between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. According to the BBC, it probably spread to Western Europe by traveling along the Danube River.

“We are currently establishing the degree of the problem, and whether the shrimp is only in Grafham Water or if it is in nearby lakes and the Great Ouse as well,” Dr. Leinster added.
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