Aquarium trade as a potential disseminator of non-native invertebrates in Northeastern Brazil

Daniel Alvares Silveira de Assis, Sidney Sales Cavalcante, Marcelo Fulgêncio Guedes de Brito


Aquarium trade is one of the most important pathways of biological invasion. Much attention has been given to target introduced species, but little is discussed on the associated bycatch ones. The aim of this paper is to analyze the risk of invasion by non-commercial invertebrates using aquarium stores as a model. Monthly visits to eight stores in Aracaju (Sergipe State) were performed from April to September 2011. Inspections were carried out and questionnaires were applied to owners and employees of the establishments. Two non-native species were identified, Melanoides tuberculatus (Gastropoda: Thiaridae) and Lernaea cyprinacea (Crustacea, Copepoda). Sixty-two specimens of M. tuberculatus were found among the aquatic plants in one of the stores, while L. cyprinacea was collected in four establishments parasitizing Carassius auratus, Hypostomus sp., Poecilia latipinna, Poecilia sphenops, Poecilia reticulata and Xiphophorus hellerii. The interviews that have been done with owners and employees revealed that none of the stores has submitted fishes and plants to quarantine, and the disposal of wastewater is directly into the sewer system. It is necessary to adopt preventive measures such as a quarantine period for fishes and the creation of a warning about the dangers of biological invasions or aquarium dumping for aquarium hobbyists to mitigate the risk of invasion.

Keywords: bioinvasion, Lernaea cyprinacea, Melanoides tuberculatus.

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