Life table estimates of the invasive snail Physa acuta Draparnaud, 1805, occurring in India

Chilka Saha 1 , Saida Parveen 1 , Joy Chakraborty 1 , Soujita Pramanik 2 ,  and Gautam Aditya 2 , 3
  • 1 Department of Zoology, The University of Burdwan, Golapbag, Burdwan 713104, India
  • 2 Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta, 35 Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata 700019, India
  • 3 Department of Zoology, The University of Burdwan, Golapbag, Burdwan 713104, India India


The life table characteristics of the invasive snail Physa acuta were assessed in the laboratory using the individuals occurring in a newly colonised area in Burdwan, West Bengal, India. Using the changes in the shell length and the body weight of the snails as surrogate, the population growth of the snails was estimated along with longevity and the fecundity schedule. The cohort of P. acuta lived for a maximum of 22 weeks with a life expectancy (ex) of 7.27 weeks and the age-specific survivorship being 0.825. Increment of the shell length of the snails complied with the von Bertalanffy growth equation, lt = 11.75(1 − exp−0.17(t−0.06)), and the observed and the expected data of the length at time t (lt) did not vary significantly (z score = 0.230; P = 0.818; n=20 pairs). Following attainment of sexual maturity between 28 and 42 days, oviposition continued till 20 weeks time, with 0.1-10 eggs laid by each individual. The eggs present per capsule remained between 01 and 11, whilst the net reproductive rate (R0), intrinsic rate of increase (rm) and the finite rate of increase (λ) were 116.07, 0.1 and 1.11, respectively. The observations are similar to those made earlier on the same species but from African and South American continents. The results of the present observation are pioneer in providing the initial studies about the life history of the invasive snail P. acuta in Indian context. Using the present information as a basis, further studies including long-term population monitoring should be initiated to understand the effects of the invasive snail P. acuta in the freshwater ecosystem of West Bengal, India.

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