A Riverfly Monitoring volunteer alerted me to what he thought could have been a Killer Shrimp whilst carrying a survey on the River Torridge. I passed the details to our local E.A Fisheries officer who alerted the relevant bodies. Fortunately on this occasion it was a false alarm but the relevant bodies are always grateful of reports in their fight against invasive species that can devastate the local eco-system. The EA can be contacted via their Hotline – 0800 807060
KIller Shrimp Species Description
Scientific name: Dikerogammarus villosus AKA: Killer Shrimp
Native to: South-east Europe
Habitat: Still or flowing freshwater and brackish water, often among hard surfaces or vegetation.
A highly invasive shrimp, with only a few known populations in GB. A key ID feature is the presence of cone shaped protru- sions on the tail. Often larger than native freshwater shrimp species and sometimes with a striped appearance.
It is a voracious predator, killing invertebrates and small fish. It quickly dominates habitats it invades and can significantly alter their ecology.
It is tolerant of poor water quality and can survive in damp conditions for up to five days. It could therefore be spread in ballast water and also by people on kit used in the water, including an- gling gear, boats, kayaks and trailers. Good biosecurity is essential to reduce the risk of spread.
As a non-resident species it could be an offence to release or allow the escape of this species into the wild.
Suspected records of this species should be sent with a photograph to: [email protected]
Another species of concern is the top mouth gudgeon see information and links below.