Experimental evidence that the invasive snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Gray, 1843) survives passage through the digestive tract of common riverine fish.
Potamopyrgus antipodarum is one of the most widespread invasive species worldwide and its expansion is ongoing. Although the snail has already been documented as surviving the digestive tract of various fish, there is insufficient data on potential riverine fish predators of P. antipodarum and of the ability of the snail to survive digestion by these fish. Lotic ecosystems are unfavourable for the upstream spread of this species by active movement and thus it is suspected that benthivorous riverine fish facilitate such upstream dispersion. In general, the results of this study indicated that P. antipodarum is not a preferable food object for the studied riverine fish. The study did indicate, however, that the invasive snail is capable of surviving the digestive tract of all the studied fish. As accidental consumption of abundant P. antipodarum with other food objects has already been documented, this study suggests that riverine fish can act as potential secondary dispersion vectors, facilitating the upstream dispersion of the snail.