Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Corbicula fluminalis



Corbicula fluminalis


  • Last modified
  • 21 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Corbicula fluminalis
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Mollusca
  •       Class: Bivalvia
  •         Subclass: Heterodonta
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Corbicula fluminalis (Müller, 1774)

Other Scientific Names

  • Tellina fluminalis Müller, 1774

Local Common Names

  • Netherlands: toegeknepen korfmossel

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Mollusca
  •             Class: Bivalvia
  •                 Subclass: Heterodonta
  •                     Order: Veneroida
  •                         Unknown: Corbiculoidea
  •                             Family: Corbiculidae
  •                                 Genus: Corbicula
  •                                     Species: Corbicula fluminalis

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


BurundiPresentNativeC. fluminalis tanganyicensis in Lake Tanganyica
CameroonAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)Possible in Chad Lake as Daget (1998) considers Corbicula tsadiana a morphotype of Corbicula consobrina; Mandahl-Barth (1988) set as a race of C. fluminalis
ChadAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)Possible in Lake Chad as Daget (1998) considers C. tsadiana a morphotype of C. consobrina; Mandahl-Barth (1988) set as a race of C. fluminalis
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentNative
EthiopiaPresent, LocalizedNativeC. fluminalis is reported from lakes and shores of the lower Huash River and the Lake Tana (Tsana), Abyssinia (Norther Ethiopea). Near Bahr-el-Asrak, Blue Nile
GabonAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)Corbicula gabonensis ( = C. fluminalis)
KenyaAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)C. fluminalis cunningtoni recorded in Lake Victoria
MalawiAbsent, Invalid presence record(s)C. fluminalis africana in Lake Malawi or Nyassa
MozambiqueAbsent, Invalid presence record(s)Lake Malawi or Nyassa. C. fluminalis africana
NigerPresentNativePossible in Lake Chad as Daget (1998) considers C tsadiana a morphotype as C. consobrina; Mandahl-Barth (1988) set as a race of C. fluminalis
NigeriaPresentNativePossible in Lake Chad as Daget (1998) considers C. tsadiana a morphotype as C. consobrina; Mandahl-Barth (1988) set as a race of C. fluminalis
SenegalAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)Presence of C. fluminalis consorbina (identified as Corbicula meridionalis and Corbicula senegalensis)
South AfricaAbsent, Invalid presence record(s)By morphological characters Kornuishin sets Corbicula africana as a valid taxa present in Gauritz River, Natal; Transvaal in Oliphant River, Lepenula River
UgandaPresentNativeC. fluminalis cunningthon, Lake Victoria. Edward and Lake Mobotu, Sese Seko (Lake Albert)
ZambiaPresent, LocalizedNativeC. fluminalis tanganyicensis, Lake Tanganyica


ArmeniaAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)Transcaucasia
-GuangdongAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)Corbicula cf. fluminalis from the Pearl River
-ShanghaiAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)Specimens of C. fluminalis collected in estuary of Yangze River
GeorgiaAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)C. fluminalis reported from Transcaucasia
IndiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Jammu and KashmirPresentNativeC. fluminalis reported in Kashmir
IraqPresent, LocalizedNative
KazakhstanPresent, LocalizedNativeC. fluminalis in the mouth of the Amu-Darya River, Aral Sea
Saudi ArabiaPresentNativeIn article by Al-Safidi, 1990, it is referred to as Corbicola fluminalis
TurkmenistanPresentNativeC. fluminalis is reported in Turkemia in the valley of the Murgab River


BelgiumPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasiveFirst time recorded in 1992
FrancePresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
GermanyPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
HungaryPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasiveFirst record Ven-Duna at Baja in June-Danube River
ItalyPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
LuxembourgPresentIntroducedInvasiveFound in River Mosel during a benthos survey between 1994-1996
NetherlandsPresentIntroducedFirst recorded in Meuse and Rhine Delta
PolandPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2004InvasiveIn lower part of Odder River
PortugalAbsent, Invalid presence record(s)C. fluminea was identified as C. fluminalis by mistake (Morton, 1996)
RomaniaPresent, Few occurrencesIntroducedInvasiveRecord of one population on border with Serbia in Danube River
RussiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Central RussiaPresentNativeDistribution in Central Asia as C. fluminalis
-Eastern SiberiaPresentNativeC. fluminalis extrema is described in Southeast Siberia
-Southern RussiaPresentNativeC. fluminalis is reported as distributed through the Caucasus and Central Asia
-Western SiberiaPresentNativeC. fluminalis, this species is found in Siberian rivers, including Irtysh River
SerbiaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasivePresent in Danube River and Sava River
SwitzerlandAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)1997Classification of C. fluminalis only by differences in shells
UkrainePresentIntroducedInvasiveIntroduced in Danube River Basin in early 1980s

North America

United StatesAbsent, Invalid presence record(s)Until now no specimens of C. fluminalis were recorded in the USA

South America

-Rio Grande do SulAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)Corbicula fluminea, Corbicula largillierti and C. aff. fluminalis in Guaiba Lake

Distribution Database Table

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Distribution References

Abdel-Azim M, Gismann A, 1956. Bilharziasis survey in south-western Asia; covering Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria: 1950-51. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 14 (3), 403-456.

Ahmed M M, 1975. Systematic study on mollusca from Arabian Gulf and Shatt Al-Arab, Iraq. Basrah, Iraq: Center for Arab Gulf Studies, University of Basrah. 78 pp.

Al-Hassan L A J, Soud K D, 1985. Phenotypes of phosphoglucose isomerase, phosphoglucose mutase and general protein in some freshwater molluscs from Basrah, Iraq. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology. 13 (3), 319-323.

Aliev A D, 1960. On the molluscan fauna of lower Kura. Izvestiya Akademyii Nauk Azerbaidzhanskoi SSR. 115-118.

Annandale N, 1921. The aquatic fauna of Seistan. Records of the Indian Museum. 18 (5), 235-253.

Annandale N, Prashad B, Kemp S W, 1919. The mollusca of the inland waters of Baluchistan and of Seistan, with a note on the liver-fluke of sheep in Seistan. Records of the Indian Museum. 18 (1), 17-63.

Bachmann V, Usseglio-Polatera P, 1999. Contribution of the macrobenthic compartment to the oxygen budget of a large regulated river: the Mosel. Hydrobiologia. 410 (17), 39-46.

Bachmann V, Usseglio-Polatera P, Cegielka E, Wagner P, Poinsaint J F, Moreteau J C, 1997. Preliminary observations about the coexistence of Dreissena polymorpha, Corophium curvispinum and Corbicula spp. in the River Moselle. Bulletin Francais de la Peche et de la Pisciculture. 373-84.

Bernauer D, Jansen W, 2006. Recent invasions of exotic macroinvertebrates and loss of native species in the upper Rhine River, Germany. Aquatic Invasions. 1 (2), 55-71.

Bij de Vaate A, Greijdanus-Klaas M, 1990. The Asiatic clam, Corbicula fluminea (Müller, 1774) (Pelecypoda, Corbiculidae), a new immigrant in The Netherlands. Bulletin of the Zoological Museum of Amsterdam. 12 (12), 173-178.

Bourguignat J R, 1868. [English title not available]]. (Mollusques nouveaux, litigieux ou peu connus.). Revue et Magasin de Zoologie. 2 (20), 269-384.

Britton J C, Morton B, 1979. Corbicula in North America: the evidence reviewed and evaluated. In: Proceedings of the First International Corbicula Symposium. Fort Worth, USA, 13-15 October 1977 [Proceedings of the First International Corbicula Symposium. Fort Worth, USA, 13-15 October 1977.], [ed. by Britton J C]. Texas, USA: Christian University Research Foundation. 250-287.

Brown D S, Wright C, 1980. Molluscs of Saudi Arabia: freshwater molluscs. In: Fauna of Saudi Arabia, Vol. 2. 341-358.

CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Ciutti F, Cappelletti C, 2009. First record of Corbicula fluminalis (Müller, 1774) in Lake Garda (Italy), living in sympatry with Corbicula fluminea (Müller, 1774). Journal of Limnology. 68 (1), 162-165.

Csànyi B, 1999. Spreading invaders along the Danubian highway: first record of Corbicula fluminea (O. F. Müller 1774) and C. fluminalis (O. F. Müller 1774) in Hungary (Mollusca, Bivalvia). Folia Historico Naturalia Musei Matraensis. 343-345.

Daget J, 1998. Catalogue raisonné des Mollusques bivalves d'eau douce africans. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys. 329 pp.

Dautzenberg P, 1894. List of terrestrial and aquatic molluscs collected by M. Th. Barrois in Palestine and Syria. (Liste des mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles recueillis par M. Th. Barrois en Palestine et an Syrie.). Revue Biologique du Nord de la France. 329-354.

Decksbach N K, 1943. The mollusc Corbicula fluminalis Mull. in the valley of the Murgab River. Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. 40 (1), 33-34.

Denahena R S, 1947. Biological sketch of the Yalaminskikh River. In: Biological sketch of the Yalaminskikh River, USSR: Trudy Institutea Zoologiskii Akademyii Nauk Azerbaijan CCR. 12.

Germain L, 1913. Terrestrial and aquatic molluscs of the Middle East: 6th note. Catalogue of the Pelecypoda of Syria and Palestine. (Mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles de l'Asie Antérieure: 6e note. Catalogue des Pélécypodes de la Syrie et de la Palestine.). Bulletin du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle. 19 (7), 469-473.

Glaubrecht M, Fehér Z, Köhler F, 2007. Inventorizing an invader: annotated type catalogue of Corbiculidae Gray, 1847 (Bivalvia, Heterodonta, Veneroidae) including old world limnic Corbicula in the Natural History Museum Berlin. Malacologia. 49 (2), 243-272.

Gruvel A, 1933. On the distribution of some species of mollusc in the lagoons of Lake Timash (Suez Canal). (Sur la distribution de quelques especes de mollusques dans le lagunes de lac Timash (Canal de Suez).). Compte Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences. 349-350.

Haesloop U, 1992. Establishment of the Asiatic clam Corbicula cf. fluminalis in the tidal Weser River (N. Germany). Archiv für Hydrobiologie. 126 (2), 175-180.

Islam A K M N, Hameed H A, 1982. Some epizoic algae from southern Iraq. Bulletin of the Basrah Natural History Museum. 109-115.

Izzatullaev Z, 1980. Bivalve mollusca of the family Corbiculidae in Middle Asia. Zoologicheskiji Zjurnal. 59 (8), 1130-1136.

Jaeckel S, 1956. Invertebrates (Mollusca) of the Afghanistan Expedition (1952 and 1953) of J. Klapperichs. (Die Weichtiere (Mollusca) der Afghanistan-Expedition (1952 und 1953) J. Klapperichs.). Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum in Berlin. 32 (2), 337-353.

Kasymov A G, 1972. Freshwater fauna of the Caucasus. Baku, Azerbaijan, USSR: ELM. 285 pp.

Kasymov A G, Gadzhiyeva S B, 1974. The chemical composition and caloric value of mollusks in the Mingechaur and Varvarino reservoirs. Hydrobiological Journal. 10 (4), 38-42.

Korniushin A V, 2004. A revision of some Asian and African freshwater clams assigned to Corbicula fluminalis (Müller, 1774) (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Corbiculidae), with a review of anatomical characters and reproductive features based on museum collections. Hydrobiologia. 529 (1), 255-270.

Labêcka A M, DomagaLa J, Pilecka-Rapacz M, 2005. First record of Corbicula fluminalis (O. F. Müller, 1774) (Bivalvia: Corbiculidae) - in Poland. Folia Malacologica. 13 (1), 25-27.

Likharev I M, Starobogatov Y I, 1967. On the molluscan fauna of Afghanistan. Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta Akademii Nauk SSSR. 159-197.

Lindholm W A, 1927. Understanding the Corbicula forms (Lamellibrachiata) of southeastern Siberia. (Zur Kenntnis der Corbicula-formen (Lamellibrachiata) Sudost-Siberiens.). Annales du Muséum Zoologique de la Academie des Sciences USSR. 28 (4), 550-554.

Locard A, 1883. Malacology of Lake Tiberiade, Antioch and Homs. (Malacologie des lac de Tiberiade, d'Antioche et d'Homs.). Archives du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de Lyon. 195-293.

Lori E, Bodon M, Cianfanelli S, 2005. Continental alien molluscs in Italy: presence and distribution. (Molluschi continentali alieni in Italia: presenza e distribuzione.). Notiziario SIM. 23 (5-8), 71.

Martens E von, 1871. On some Palestinian snails. (Ueber einige Schnecken von Palastina.). Malakozoologische Blätter. 53-61.

Martens E von, 1874. Some Near East Conchylia, from the collection of Prof. Hausknecht. (Ueber Vordisiatische Conchylien, nach den Sammlungen des Prof. Hausknecht.). In: Novitates Conchologicae, Series prima. Mollusca extramarina. Descriptions et figures de coquilles, estramarines nouvelle, ou peu connues. Beschreibung and Abbuildung neuer oder kritischer Land- and Süsswasser Mol. [ed. by Pfeiffer K]. Cassel, Germany: T. Fischer. 127 pp.

Martins D S, Veitenheimer-Mendes I L, Faccioni-Heuser M C, 2006. Morphological aspects and rearing of three species of Corbicula Mühlfeld, from Lake Guaíba, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (Bivalvia, Corbiculidae). (Aspectos morfológicos e de incubação em três espécies de Corbicula Mühlfeld, no lago Guaíba, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil (Bivalvia, Corbiculidae).). Biota Neotropica. 6 (2), unpaginated.

Morton B, 1982. Some aspects of the population structure and sexual strategy of Corbicula cf. fluminalis (Bivalvia: Corbiculacea) from the Pearl River, Peoples Republic of China. Journal of Molluscan Studies. 48 (1), 1-23.

Mousson M A, 1874. Terrestrial molluscs collected by Dr Alexandre Schlaefli in the orient. (Coquilles terrestres recueillies par M. le Dr. Alexandre Schlaefli en orient.). Journal de Conchyliologie. 5-60.

Müller O F von, 1774. Vermium Terrestrium et Fluviatilum, seu Animalium, Infusorium, Helminthocorum, et Testaceocorum, non Sarinorum, Succincta Historia. Copenhagen & Leipzig, Denmark & Germany: Heineck and Faber. 214 pp.

Nagel K O, 1989. A further discovery of Corbicula fluminalis (Müller, 1774) (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in Portugal. (Ein weiterer Fundort von Corbicula fluminalis (Müller, 1774) (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in Portugal.). Mitteilungen der Deutsche Malakozoologische Gesellschaft. 17.

Park J K, Kim W, 2003. Two Corbicula (Corbiculidae: Bivalvia) mitochondrial lineages are widely distributed in Asian freshwater environment. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 29 (3), 529-539.

Paunović M, Csányi B, Knežević S, Simić V, Nenadić D, Jakovčev-Todorović D, Stojanović B, Cakić P, 2007. Distribution of Asian clams Corbicula fluminea (Müller, 1774) and C. fluminalis (Müller, 1774) in Serbia. Aquatic Invasions. 2 (2), 99-106.

Piscart C, Moreteau J C, Beisel J N, 2005. Biodiversity and structure of macroinvertebrate communities along a small permanent salinity gradient (Meurthe River, France). Hydrobiologia. 551 (1), 227-236.

Pourang N, 1996. Heavy metal concentrations in surficial sediments and benthic macroinvertebrates from Anzali wetland, Iran. Hydrobiologia. 331 (1-3), 53-61.

Rajagopal S, Velde G van der, Bij de Vaate A, 2000. Reproductive biology of the Asiatic clams Corbicula fluminalis and Corbicula fluminea in the river Rhine. Archiv für Hydrobiologie. 149 (3), 403-420.

Schlesch H, 1908. New varieties of Nania berlangeri and Corbicula fluminalis Müller from India. Records of the Indian Museum. 2 (1), 108.

Schuett H, 1982. The freshwater mollusk fauna of the Orontes River with regards to river systems in the area. Archiv für Molluskenkunde. 113 (1-6), 17-91.

Smith E A, 1908. On the Mollusca of Birket El Qurun, Egypt. Journal Molluscan Studies. 8 (1), 9-11.

Solem A, 1979. Some mollusks from Afgahnistan. Illinois, USA: Fiel Museum of Natural History. 108 pp.

Swinnen F, Leynen M, Sablon M, Duvivier L, Vanmaele R, 1998. The Asiatic clam Corbicula (Bivalvia: Corbiculidae) in Belgium. Bulletin de L'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique. Biologie. 47-53.

Tchernov E, 1975. The molluscs of the Sea of Galilee. Malacologia. 15 (1), 147-184.

Tristram H B, 1884. The survey of Western Palestine: terrestrial and fluviatile Mollusca. In: The survey of Western Palestine: terrestrial and fluviatile Mollusca, London, UK: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. 178-204.

Volkova V S, 1962. Discovery of Corbicula fluminalis Müller in lower course of Irtysh River. Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR. 628.

Voloshkevich E V, Son V O, 2002. Corbicula fluminalis - a new species of bivalve molluscs in the fauna of Ukraine. Vestnik Zoologii. 36 (6), 94.

Wittenberg R, 2006. Molluscs - Mollusca. In: An inventory of alien species and their threat to biodiversity and economy in Switzerland: CABI Bioscience Switzerland Centre Report to the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forest and Landscape. [ed. by Wittenberg R]. Bern, Switzerland: Federal Office for the Environment FOEN. 231-247.

Zhadin V I, 1952. Mollusks of fresh and brackish waters of the USSR. Moscow, Russia: Academy of Sciences of the USSR Press. 376 pp.


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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Belgium 1992 Interconnected waterways (pathway cause) Yes Nguyen and Pauw (2002); Swinnen et al. (1998) Started colonizing in the River Meuse and some major connecting canals in Belgium
France   Interconnected waterways (pathway cause) Yes Brancotte and Vincent (2002) Invaded in at least seven different ways of which the upstream colonization in the Rhine has a dominating role
Germany   Hitchhiker (pathway cause); Interconnected waterways (pathway cause) Yes Bachmann et al. (1997); Bernauer and Jansen (2006); Haesloop (1992) In the Wesser River with first introduction and in the Rhine and Mossel rivers by upstream colonization from the Netherlands population
Hungary   Interconnected waterways (pathway cause) Yes Bódis et al. (2008) Restricted to the downstream section of the Paks (nuclear power plant)
Italy South Asia 2004 Yes Cianfanelli et al. (2007); Gherardi et al. (2008) Unintentional introduction. Pathway still unknown
Luxembourg   Interconnected waterways (pathway cause) Yes Bachmann and Usseglio-Polatera (1999) River Mossel border
Poland 2004 Hitchhiker (pathway cause)Labêcka et al. (2005) Lower Odder River
Romania   Interconnected waterways (pathway cause)Paunovic et al. (2007) North Serbia in Danube River
Serbia   Interconnected waterways (pathway cause) Yes Paunovic et al. (2007) Danube River; tributary river Sava was also invaded, first the lower part (Makis) and upstream to Sabac
Switzerland Asia   Hitchhiker (pathway cause) Yes Wittenberg (2006) Introduced from Asia via North America
Ukraine South East Asia   Hitchhiker (pathway cause); Interconnected waterways (pathway cause) Yes Alexandrov et al. (2007); Voloshkevich and Son (2002)

Habitat List

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BrackishInland saline areas Principal habitat Natural
BrackishInland saline areas Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
OtherStored products Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedIndustrial / intensive livestock production systems Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedIndustrial / intensive livestock production systems Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
LittoralIntertidal zone Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
LittoralSalt marshes Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
FreshwaterIrrigation channels Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
FreshwaterLakes Present, no further details Natural
FreshwaterLakes Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
FreshwaterReservoirs Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
FreshwaterReservoirs Principal habitat Natural
FreshwaterReservoirs Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
FreshwaterRivers / streams Principal habitat Natural
FreshwaterRivers / streams Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
FreshwaterPonds Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
BrackishEstuaries Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
BrackishEstuaries Principal habitat Natural
BrackishEstuaries Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
BrackishLagoons Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
BrackishLagoons Principal habitat Natural
BrackishLagoons Principal habitat Productive/non-natural


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BS - Steppe climate Preferred > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Preferred < 430mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Water Tolerances

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ParameterMinimum ValueMaximum ValueTypical ValueStatusLife StageNotes
Salinity (part per thousand) Optimum 50 tolerated (Morton, 1986)
Water temperature (ºC temperature) Optimum 0 tolerated (Volkora, 1962)

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Aix sponsa Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Alosa sapidissima Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Anas acuta Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Anas clypeata Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Anas platyrhynchos Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Anas rubripes Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Angiostrongylus cantonensis Parasite Adult to genus
Aythya valisineria Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Cercaria corbiculae Parasite Adult to species
Chaetogaster limnaei Adult to species
Fulica americana Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Haplochromis Predator Adult to genus
Ictalurus furcatus Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Ictalurus punctatus Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Ictiobus bubalus Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Ictiobus niger Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Iheringichthys westermanni Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Leporinus obtusidens Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Lophotaspis orientalis Parasite Adult to genus
Multipeniata Adult to species
Neovison vison Predator Adult to genus
Odontesthes humensis Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Ondatra zibethicus Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Oreochromis mossambicus Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Oxydoras kneri Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Paraloricaria vetula Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Pimelodus albicans Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Pimelodus maculatus Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Procyon lotor Predator Adult to genus
Pterodoras granulosus Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Rallus longirostris Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Ricola macrops Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus
Spirinchus thaleichthys Predator Nematodes|Juveniles to genus

Risk and Impact Factors

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  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Capable of securing and ingesting a wide range of food
  • Gregarious
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Altered trophic level
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Infrastructure damage
  • Modification of hydrology
  • Modification of natural benthic communities
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts human health
  • Negatively impacts animal health
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Soil accretion
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition (unspecified)
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Filtration
  • Fouling
  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
  • Hybridization
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Predation
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult/costly to control


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Economic Value

In Asia, the use of Corbicula and their applications in the regional and national economy are diverse. Intensive aquaculture relies on this bivalve which has great economic importance on DianSan Lake in Shangai (Xu et al., 1988), and in Vietnam, where the production of Corbicula subsulcata reaches 600-1,000 t/yr (Phung, 2000). In the Pearl River, China, Corbicula sp. are used for food and the manufacture of lime from the shells (Miller and McClure, 1931). In Taiwan, it is not considered a high-value aquaculture product and it is consumed mostly as a side dish and in soups. In 1987, it had the fourth highest total shellfish market quantity, around 8000 mt produced at 3.7 mt/ha (Phelps, 1994b). Harvesting activities are reported in Luzon in Laguna Bay, Philippines, and in Sulawesi in Lake Lindu Corbicula sp. are harvested for human food (Arriola and Villaluz, 1939; Bonne and Sandground, 1939).
Corbicula sp. are considered a healthy food and have the highest glycogen content (50%) of any shellfish (Phelps, 1994b). They are also considered of high medicinal importance, e.g. C. leana in Japan (Ikematsu and Kammakura, 1975). The health and medicinal importance might rely on the caloric content estimated at 5.02 Kcal/g in dry weight (Sickel, 1976). They also contain appreciable amounts of vitamin B12 (Halarnkar et al., 1987). Iritani et al. (1979) showed that rats fed with C. japonica significantly reduced their high cholesterol levels, this is explained by the several sterols present in the clam, making them a hypolipidemic food item (Iritani et al., 1979).However, in Japan, water extracts from C. japonica were shown to be lethal to mice via injection. The toxicity exhibits a regional variation independent from seasonality or sexual periods. In addition, both Corbicula sandai and C. leana have the same toxin but less potent (Arita et al., 2001).
Social Benefit
In Laguna de Luzon (Philippines), Corbicula sp. is gathered in huge quantities approaching a commercial scale. This item is used to feed domestic ducks (Anas platyrhynchos), and is also a food item for the habitants, especially the working classes (Villadolid and Del Rosario, 1930). These authors also suggest measurements of conservation of this economically-important species. Corbicula sp. is harvested in other places like Lake Lindu in Indonesia (Carney et al., 1980), Japan (Cahn, 1951), and in the USA in Potomac River above Washington, DC (Phelps, 1994b).
Asiatic clams can act as bioindicators of viruses; there has been documented absorption of 99.94% of viruses by clams (Payne, 1985). Faust et al. (2009) documented the absorption of bird flu virus from infected waters, thus potentially reducing the infectivity. Some benefits in public human health can be reported as Corbicula can be used as a functional bioindicator of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in infected waste and in irrigation waters (Graczyk et al., 1997; 2003; Miller et al., 2005).
Environmental Services
Individuals of Corbicula have been recommended for the biological assessment of water quality (Kerans and Karr, 1994; Carlisle and Clements, 1999).
Pourang (1996) reports using C. fluminalis, among others macrozoobenthonic taxa, in the assessment of concentrations of heavy metal (Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb) in superficial sediments in the Anzali wetlands (Iran). C. fluminalis showed lower heavy metals concentrations compared to the other taxa studied.


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The principal feature to differentiate the morphotypes are the shell characteristics. C. fluminalis has a smaller size (around 25 mm), with a triangular, rounded base form and thicker shell than C. fluminea; has concentric ridges that are thinner and less spaced, with 13-16 per cm (Zhadin, 1952; Korniushin, 2004).

As an example, in Italy, Lake Garda, the two species of Corbicula sp. were clearly distinguishable from patterns of shell sculpture, shape and colour. C. fluminalis shells shows finer ridges and a violet inner surface, whereas C. fluminea has coarser ridges with pale inner surface (Ciutti and Cappelletti, 2009).

Detection and Inspection

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The reports of C. fluminalis invasion are always when populations are already established, e.g. by dead shells on the shorelines in Italy (Ciutti and Cappelletti, 2009); in a sampled benthos survey in the Mosel River, France (Bachmann et al., 1997); and in reports of fishermen nets in the Danube River, Serbia (Paunovic et al., 2007).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Since there are sympatric populations of C. fluminalis and C. fluminea in Europe (Swinnen et al., 1998; Csányi, 1999; Pfenninger et al., 2002; Paunovic et al., 2007; Ciutti and Cappelletti, 2009), these may have the same habitat requirements (Karatayev et al., 2007). Additionally, in recent surveys both species appear to have similar reproduction pathways (Korniushin, 2004).

The principal feature to differentiate the morphotypes are the shell characteristics. C. fluminalis has a smaller size (around 25 mm), with a triangular, rounded base form and thicker shell than C. fluminea; has concentric ridges that are thinner and less spaced, with 13-16 per cm (Zhadin, 1952; Korniushin, 2004).

As an example, in Italy, Lake Garda, the two species of Corbicula sp. were clearly distinguishable from patterns of shell sculpture, shape and colour. C. fluminalis shells shows finer ridges and a violet inner surface, whereas C. fluminea has coarser ridges with pale inner surface (Ciutti and Cappelletti, 2009).

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.


The first steps on slowing or stopping the spread of invasive species is for international cooperation in acceptance of measurements discussed and approved in IMO Conventions on hull fouling and ballast waters and ICES Code of Practice (Karatayev et al., 2007). Corbicula sp. invades disturbed habitats more often then unmodified ones. The maintenance and restoration of natural conditions may be one of the best defences against benthos domination by exotic mussels (Stein and Imlay, 1976). Management programs, mitigation measures and eradication efforts on invasive species do only make sense when being undertaken by all affected countries (Gollasch, 2007).

SPS measures
There exists a report of C. fluminea (identified as C. manilensis) being sold in open markets in Hawaii (Kailua, Oahu Island). With the potential threat of invasion, the Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Office has twice confiscated shipments of C. manilensis (Burch, 1978). No similar reports exist for C. fluminalis.
Early warning systems
In addition to the ALARM project a new electronic journal was created “Aquatic Invasions” as an important part of the developing European early warning systems on invasive species in Europe (Panov et al., 2009b).
Public awareness
Education of public can indeed reduce the spread of an invasive species (Karatayev et al., 2007). In order to minimize human mediated transport, measures should be taken such as the education of the fishermen in not using Corbicula as bait outside invaded places (Aldridge and Muller, 2001). Caution should be taken in not transferring sand or gravel from invaded locals (Counts, 1986); stocking activities and transport of these clams outside invaded range (Karatayev et al., 2007).
Elimination of an entire invasive population is rarely attempted (Simberloff, 2002); it is very expensive and may have detrimental non-target effects. However, Aldridge et al. (2006) proposed an effective and selective processes to kill invaders, focussing on zebra mussels, the biobullets. This new technique may provides us with a useful method to eradicate invasive mussels by releasing less chemicals to the environment, reducing anthropogenic ecosystem disturbances and protecting the native species from being killed in extermination process (Aldridge et al., 2006).
Movement control
After invasion the best measure is to reduce the spreading (Aldridge and Muller, 2001). This includes the washing-down of boats use on invaded locales and the barges used on transporting sediment. Equipment like hand dredges and nets should be cleaned with appropriate effective methods like hot water (above 50ºC), and chlorinated water (Thompson and Sparks, 1977; Aldridge and Muller, 2001).
Biological control
No species-specific techniques are available for the eradication of Corbicula sp. However, some population density controls are proposed by Covich et al. (1981) using crayfish, and by Robinson and Welborn (1988) using benthic-foraging fish that control formation of dense patches.

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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C. fluminalis is a poorly understood species, few consistent reports exist on its life cycle, reproductive behaviour and patterns of growth (Korniushin, 2004). Korniushin’s 2004 review is for now the most extensive work done on this species.

However, if the distribution of Korniushin (2004) is to be corroborated by genetic data, introduction pathways for C. fluminalis need to be reviewed. African Corbicula distribution is far from being complete - the distinction between C. artartina from C. fluminalis and C. africana has never been done. Little knowledge exists on C. fluminalis from Gabon (Preston, 1909), considered by Mandahl-Barth (1974) as a different species in Gabon. Also C. fluminalis species in Senegal require more study as there is so little information available.
On Lake Chad, Corbicula populations are controversial, and were not analysed by Korniushin (2004). Daget (1998) placed them as C. consobrina, and Mandahl-Barth (1988) as a race of C. fluminalis (in Glaubrecht et al., 2007). The existence of fossils records in Lake Chad and nearby regions like Algeria and central Sahara could indicate a refuge for C. fluminalis within Lake Chad (Fischer-Piette, 1949).

In addition to the studies of Hedtke et al. (2008) it is suggested there should be a worldwide database for multiple androgenic lineages of Corbicula. Also it is recommended to create a phylogeny of Corbicula using single copy genes because of unexpected polyphyly in androgenic lineages. The rRNA genes are suggested by Hedtke et al. (2008) due to their conservative characteristics within the eukaryotes.

Links to Websites

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ALARM (Assessing Large Scale Risks for biodiversity with tested methods)
DAISIE Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gateway source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS) source for updated system data added to species habitat list.


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03/01/10 Original text by:

Fabiana Freitas, University of Aveiro, Portugal

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