Occurrence of the invasive mollusc Melanoides tuberculata (Müller, 1774) in different aquatic systems of the Sorocaba River Basin, Brazil

Abstract There are few surveys in Brazil of the presence of the gastropod Melanoides tuberculate (Müller, 1774). Invasive mollusks pose a major threat to native species as a result of their aggressive competition for habitat use and various resources. Native to Asia and Africa, Melanoides tuberculata was introduced to Brazil in the 1960’s. Recent studies have discussed the importance of conducting further research on the spatial distribution of this species and its possible impact on biodiversity. Sampling was conducted from June 2013 to August 2014, and a total of 522 individuals was recorded; 67% of these were found in the Rio Verde River, located in the buffer zone of the Ipanema National Forest. The results showed that this species may be widely distributed in the basin, especially in places with sandy soil, degraded riparian zones, and areas where sewage is discharged. It is important to note the correlation of the distribution with higher water temperatures, which may be related to the absence of shading of riparian forests. Control of the proliferation of this species, which has a high attack potential, must be accomplished by improving quality of the aquatic environment, since eradication by physical removal is unfeasible.