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Alien freshwater polychaetes

Two polychaete species, Hypania invalida and Laonome calida, were found in the Upper Odra River in 2016. Both species were recorded close to a natural river bank down to 1 m depths. They inhabited sandy-gravelly and sandy-muddy sediments. H. invalida is an alien invasive Ponto-Caspian species, previously known in Poland from the Odra River estuary only. Our results may indicate a further rapid dispersal of H. invalida upstream the Odra River or an accidental introduction. This study is the first record of L. calida in the Baltic Sea catchment. This Australian species has been recently introduced into Europe. Prior to this study, it had been reported from Dutch rivers only. The present data suggest accidental introduction of the species to European rivers; however, our findings show an urgent need for a close monitoring of the polychaete in Europe.

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