Integrative taxonomy reveals the occurrence of the Asian freshwater snail Sinotaia cf. quadrata in inland waters of SW Europe.
A multisource approach to assessing freshwater biodiversity reveals the first occurrence of the Asian freshwater snail Sinotaia cf. quadrata (Gastropoda, Viviparidae) in inland waters of the northern Iberian Peninsula (Spain) and southwestern France. We present a detailed characterization, combining morphological traits and molecular tools for a genetic identification, and illustration of the species and its ultrastructure, as well as key information regarding its reproductive biology and ecology at the new locations. We discuss the most plausible introduction pathways and vectors, its potential invasiveness and the subsequent impacts that it may generate in the receiving localities. Our preliminary results raise concerns about the threat of Sinotaia cf. quadrata to human health and ecosystem dynamics, since this species acts as an intermediate host for several parasite species. Finally, this study confirms once again the usefulness of an integrative taxonomical approach for shedding light on hidden biodiversity and the invasion of freshwater ecosystems.