Welling ‘exile’ Sam Ho discovers new alien invader

Sam Ho from Welling, now based in north London with the Environment Agency, discovered an unwelcome new freshwater invader, the Quagga Mussel, in September this year, whilst doing official sampling work on the River Wraysbury in Surrey.

According to a paper written by Sam and colleagues, Great Britain has been subject to an increasing rate of invasion from freshwater species of Ponto-Caspian origin. Indeed prior to its discovery, the Ponto Caspian Quagga Mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis ) (Andrusov, 1897), was identified as the non-native species least wanted because of the problems it can cause, including blocking filtration equipment and the like.

The sizes of the Mussels suggest recent colonisation, whilst the ecology of the larval stage worryingly indicates that they probably arrived at the discovery site from an establish population somewhere else in the area. The Wraysbury River is connected to a number of other waterways, including the Thames, so the species could quickly become a major ecological and commercial challenge .

For full details see the academic paper here:


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1 Response to Welling ‘exile’ Sam Ho discovers new alien invader

  1. Sam says:

    Thank You for the mention Chris! – may I just add that the NNSS website and the organisers behind it are doing an excellent job. Without this resource I wouldn’t know to be vigilant about the Quagga in the first place, and we wouldn’t have an Alert system, nor the ready expertise to certify records of such high importance either! They are working tirelessly on bringing together all major UK players in to a collaborative framework – working towards embedding a Better Biosecurity practice into our culture.

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