Youness Mabrouki, PhD, Laboratory of Biotechnology, Conservation and Valorization of Natural Resources, Faculty of Sciences of Dhar El Mehraz, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University (30050, Morocco, Fes); iD ORCID:; e-mail:
Peter Glöer, PhD, Biodiversity Research Laboratory (D-25491, Germany, Hetlingen, Schulstrasse 3); iD ORCID:; e-mail:
Abdelkhaleq F. Taybi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Poly-Disciplinary Faculty of Nador, Mohammed First University (338Q+8GM, Selouane, Morocco); iD ORCID:; e-mail:

Reference to article

Mabrouki Y., Glöer P., Taybi A.F. 2023. The first record of the North American freshwater limpet Ferrissia californica (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in Morocco. Nature Conservation Research 8(1): 108–112.

Section Short Communications

Invasive species are a major threat to global biodiversity. One of the most effective invaders among freshwater snails is the North American ancyline gastropod Ferrissia californica (= fragilis). A new population of this species has been found in Lake Zerrouka (Northern Morocco), a Protected Area, which is also a site of ecological and biological interest (known as SIBE). Thus, this record expands the known distribution range of this invasive species in the Mediterranean area. Despite the fact it is located in only one out of more than 150 localities sampled by us, ongoing investigations could soon reveal more finds of the species in Morocco. Lake Zerrouka is known for recently described endemic snail species, i.e. Ifrania zerroukansis and Gyraulus marocana. Therefore, the monitoring of the presence and expansion of F. californica within invaded areas, as well as studies improving the knowledge on its biology and ecology is an urgent need.


alien ancyline, aquarium trade, invasive species, Lake Zerrouka, new arrival, non-native Planorbidae, Protected Area

Artice information

Received: 05.06.2022. Revised: 13.09.2022. Accepted: 17.09.2022.

The full text of the article

Alexandrowicz S.W. 2003. Planorbella duryi (Wetherby, 1879) from the crater-lake Albano (Central Italy). Folia Malacologica 11(3–4): 89–93. DOI: 10.12657/folmal.011.009
Alonso Á., Castro-Díez P., Saldaña-López A., Gallardo B. 2019. The New Zealand mud snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (J.E. Gray, 1853) (Tateidae, Mollusca) in the Iberian Peninsula: temporal patterns of distribution. BioInvasions Records 8(2): 287–300. DOI: 10.3391/bir.2019.8.2.11
Barakat A., El Baghdadi M., Rais J., Aghezzaf B., Slassib M. 2016. Assessment of spatial and seasonal water quality variation of Oum Er Rbia River (Morocco) using multivariate statistical techniques. International Soil and Water Conservation Research 4(4): 284–292. DOI: 10.1016/j.iswcr.2016.11.002
Boettger C.R. 1949. Die Einschleppung Einer Nordamerikanischen Sußwasserschnecke der Gattung Ferrissia nach Deutschland. Archiv fur Molluskenkunde 78: 187.
Brown D.S. 1965. Freshwater gastropod Mollusca from Ethiopia. Bulletin of British Museum Natural History. Zoology 12: 37–94.
Chillasse L., Dakki M., Abbassi M. 2001. Valeurs et fonctions écologiques des Zones humides du Moyen Atlas (Maroc). Humedales Mediterráneos 1: 139–146.
Coote T., Schmidt K.A., Schmidt R.E., McMullin E.R. 2018. Discovery of the freshwater limpet, Ferrissia californica (Rowell, 1863) (Gastropoda: Planorbidae), from the streams of Montserrat, West Indies, a new addition to the Caribbean fauna. American Malacological Bulletin 36(2): 291–295. DOI: 10.4003/006.036.0208
Dillon R.T.Jr., Herman J.J. 2009. Genetics, Shell Morphology, and Life History of the Freshwater Pulmonate Limpets Ferrissia rivularis and Ferrissia fragilis. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 24(2): 261–271. DOI: 10.1080/02705060.2009.9664291
Estebenet A.L., Martín P.R. 2002. Pomacea canaliculata (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae): life-history Traits and their Plasticity. Biocell 26(1): 83–89.
Glöer P., Mabrouki Y., Taybi A.F. 2020. Two new valvatoid genera (Gastropoda, Hydrobiidae) from Morocco. Ecologica Montenegrina 30: 124–128. DOI: 10.37828/em.2020.30.12
Glöer P. 2019. The freshwater gastropods of the West Palaearctic. Vol. 1: Fresh- and brackish waters except spring and subterranean snails. Identification Key, Anatomy, Ecology, Distribution. Hetlingen: Biodiversity Research Lab. 399 p.
Glöer P., Ramdini R. 2019. Hippeutis complanatus Linnaeus, 1758 in Algeria, re-found after more than 150 years. Ecologica Montenegrina 22: 226–227.
Gonzalez A., Lambert A., Ricciardi A. 2008. When does ecosystem engineering cause invasion and species replacement?. Oikos 117(8): 1247–1257. DOI: 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2008.16419.x
Karatayev A.Y., Burlakova L.E., Padilla D.K., Mastitsky S.E., Olenin S. 2009. Invaders are not a random selection of species. Biological Invasions 11(9): 2009. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-009-9498-0
Khalloufi N., Boumaiza M. 2007. Première citation et description de quatre pulmonés dulcicoles de Tunisie (Mollusca, Orthogastropoda). Bulletin De La Société Zoologique De France 132: 191–204.
Keller R.P., Geist J., Jeschke J.M., Kühn I. 2011. Invasive species in Europe: ecology, status, and policy. Environmental Sciences Europe 23: 23. DOI: 10.1186/2190-4715-23-23
Lacerda L.E.M., Richau C.S., Amaral C.R., Silva D.A., Carvalho E.F., Santos S.B. 2015. Ferrissia fragilis (Tryon, 1863): a freshwater snail cryptic invader in Brazil revealed by morphological and molecular data. Aquatic Invasions 10(2): 157–168.
Mabrouki Y., Taybi A.F., Bahhou J., Doadrio I. 2020. The first record of the swordtail Xiphophorus hellerii Heckel, 1848 (Poeciliidae, Actinopterygii) established in the wild from Morocco. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 36(6): 795–800. DOI: 10.1111/jai.14105
Mabrouki Y., Glöer P., Taybi A.F. 2022. Gyraulus marocana sp. nov., a new freshwater snail species (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Planorbidae) from Morocco. Nature Conservation Research 7(1): 96–100. DOI: 10.24189/ncr.2022.007
Marrone F., Naselli-Flores L. 2015. A review on the animal xenodiversity in Sicilian inland waters (Italy). Advances in Oceanography and Limnology 6(1–2): 2–12. DOI: 10.4081/aiol.2015.5451
Marrone F., Lo Brutto S., Arculeo M. 2011 Cryptic invasion in Southern Europe: The case of Ferrissia fragilis (Pulmonata: Ancylidae) Mediterranean populations. Biologia 66(3): 484–490. DOI: 10.2478/s11756-011-0044-z
Miyahira I.C., Gonçalves I.C.B., Lacerda L.E.M., Ximenes R.F., Santos S.B. 2021. The introduction of Physa acuta (Gastropoda: Physidae) on Ilha Grande, Southeast Brazil, from initial stages to an established population. Brazilian Journal of Biology 83: e243801. DOI: 10.1590/1519-6984.243801
Pérez-Tris J., Santos T. 2004. Spanish research on avian migration: historical trajectory and future perspectives. Ardeola 51(1): 71–89.
Pimentel D., Zuniga R., Morrison D. 2005. Update on the environmental and economic costs associated with alien-invasive species in the United States. Ecological Economics 52(3): 273–288. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2004.10.002
Pyšek P., Bacher S., Chytrý‎ M., Jarošík V., Wild J., Celesti-Grapow L., Gassó N., Kenis M., Lambdon P.W., Nentwig W., Pergl J., Roques A., Sádlo J., Solarz W., Vilà M., Hulme P.E. 2010. Contrasting patterns in the invasions of European terrestrial and freshwater habitats by alien plants, insects and vertebrates. Global Ecology and Biogeography 19(3): 317–331. DOI: 10.1111/j.1466–8238.2009.00514.x
Raposeiro P.M., Costa A.C., Martins A.F. 2011. On the presence, distribution and habitat of the alien freshwater snail Ferrissia fragilis (Tryon, 1863) (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) in the oceanic islands of the Azores. Aquatic Invasions 6(1): 13–17. DOI: 10.3391/ai.2011.6.S1.003
Ricciardi A., Kipp R. 2008. Predicting the number of ecologically harmful exotic species in an aquatic system. Diversity and Distributions 14(2): 374–380. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2007.00451.x
Ricciardi A., MacIsaac H.J. 2011. Impacts of Biological Invasions on Freshwater Ecosystems. In: D.M. Richardson (Ed.): Fifty Years of Invasion Ecology: The Legacy of Charles Elton. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell. P. 211–224. DOI: 10.1002/9781444329988.ch16
Simberloff D., Martin J.L., Genovesi P., Maris V., Wardle D.A., Aronson J., Courchamp F., Galil B., García-Berthou E., Pascal M., Pyšek P., Sousa R., Tabacchi E., Vilà M. 2013. Impacts of biological invasions: what's what and the way forward. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28(1): 58–66. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2012.07.013
Strayer D.L. 2010. Alien species in fresh waters: ecological effects, interactions with other stressors, and prospects for the future. Freshwater Biology 55(s1): 152–174. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2009.02380.x
Taybi A.F., Mabrouki Y., Doadrio I. 2020a. The occurrence, distribution and biology of invasive fish species in fresh and brackish water bodies of NE Morocco. Arxius de Miscellània Zoològica 18: 59–73. DOI: 10.32800/amz.2020.18.0059
Taybi A.F., Mabrouki Y., Legssyer B., Berrahou A. 2020b. Spatio-temporal typology of the physico-chemical parameters of a large North African river: the Moulouya and its main tributaries (Morocco). African Journal of Aquatic Sciences 45(4): 431–441. DOI: 10.2989/16085914.2020.1727832
Taybi A.F., Mabrouki Y., Glöer P. 2021. First record of the New Zealand Mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (J.E. Gray, 1843) (Tateidae, Mollusca) in Africa. Graellsia 77(2): e140. DOI: 10.3989/graellsia.2021.v77.303
Taybi A.F., Mabrouki Y., Glöer P. 2023. First record of the exotic Seminole rams-horn Helisoma duryi (Wetherby, 1879), (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) in Morocco. Graellsia 79(1): 1–6.
Taylor B.W., Flecker A.S., Hall R.O. 2006. Loss of a harvested fish species disrupts carbon flow in a diverse tropical river. Science 313(5788): 833–836. DOI: 10.1126/science.1128223
Tokinova R.P. 2012. The First Finding of the North American Freshwater Limpets Ferrissia fragilis (Tryon, 1863) (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the Middle Volga Basin. Russian Journal of Biological Invasions 3(1): 52–55. DOI: 10.1134/S2075111712010134
Vecchioni L., Marrone F., Arculeo M., Arizza V. 2017. Are there autochthonous Ferrissia (Mollusca: Planorbidae) in the Palaearctic? Molecular evidence of a widespread North American invasion of the Old World. European Zoological Journal 84(1): 411–419. DOI: 10.1080/24750263.2017.1350759
Vinarski M.V., Palatov D.M. 2018. Ferrissia californica (Gastropoda: Planorbidae): the first record of a global invader in a cave habitat. Journal of Natural History 52(17–18): 1147–1155. DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2018.1450904
Vitousek P.M., D'Antonio C.M., Loope L., Rejmánek M., Westbrooks R.G. 1997. Introduced species: a significant component of human-caused global change. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 21: 1–16.
Walther A.C., Lee T., Burch J.B., Foighil D.Ó. 2006. Confirmation that the North American ancylid Ferrissia fragilis (Tryon, 1863) is a cryptic invader of European and East Asian freshwater ecosystems. Journal of Molluscan Studies 72: 318–321. DOI: 10.1093/mollus/eyl009