Relative of 'killer shrimp' found in Worcestershire waterways

The non-native shrimp has been found in the River Severn at Tewkesbury and Bevere, near Worcester

Related Stories

A relative of the "killer shrimp" has been found in Worcestershire, the Environment Agency (EA) has said.

The non-native shrimp, Dikerogammarus haemobaphes, has been found in the River Severn at Tewkesbury and Bevere, near Worcester.

The EA said it was the first time the shrimp had been found in the UK and it had also been discovered in two Worcestershire canals.

It said experts were "uncertain at this stage" what its impact might be.

The species was found after samples were taken from the River Severn at the request of Severn Trent Water and experts then identified them.

APEM, an environmental consultancy specialising in water science and ecology, said one of its scientists, Grant Ridley, identified Dikerogammarus haemobaphes in a sample from Severn Trent Water.

The EA said that in Europe, the shrimp "kills and competes with a range of native species" and scavenges and eats plant matter, which "alters the ecology of the habitat".

'High impact species'

Following the initial discovery, the shrimps were then found at the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, spreading over a distance of approximately 23 miles (38km).

The EA said until it had further information it would treat it as a "high impact species" as a precaution.

It said the species was less aggressive than Dikerogammarus villosus, the "killer shrimp", but is a rapid breeder, producing three generations per year, with each female laying 100 or more eggs.

David Throup, environment manager for the Environment Agency, said: "We are concerned that this invasive species has been found in the Midlands.

"We now have a dedicated team whose focus is to establish the degree of the problem and whether the shrimp has spread wider than the locations already found.

"We are treating this as a priority so that we can come up with a plan to help contain its spread as far as possible."

The species originates from the Ponto-Caspian region of eastern Europe around the Black Sea and has invaded western Europe.

APEM said the shrimp was discovered during routine monitoring that it was carrying out for Severn Trent Water.

Mr Ridley said: "This shrimp is typically smaller than its 'Killer' cousin, growing up to about 18mm, but still potentially very damaging to our native water environment."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Weather

Worcester

13 °C 6 °C

Features

  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    Selection of the best news photographs from around the world


  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist


  • StampsPost Independence

    Will stamps get cheaper if Scots go it alone?


  • Rhea10 things

    Rhea birds can be extremely dangerous, plus other factlets


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.