Invasive jellyfish species found in Latvia

Invasive freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbii has been observed for the first time in a pond in Drabeši parish, Cēsis municipality pond, the Nature Conservation Board (DAP) said September 8.

The jellyfish is about the size of a two-euro coin and whitish-transparent. It is not dangerous to human health and life. It is likely that they will also spread to other bodies of water, so the DAP calls for other sightings of the species to be reported to “[email protected]”.

"Unconscious human action and climate change are the main reasons why this species has been spreading further from its place of origin, China and Japan, since the last century, and is currently present on every continent other than Antarctica. In Latvia, it is likely that they have come with birds, by sticking to their feet, or by exotic aquatic plants, because they are able to live without water at a certain stage of development. Freshwater jellyfish feed on phytoplankton and may potentially be a feed competitor for young fish," DAP said.

The DAP noted that freshwater jellyfish have been seen earlier in Poland, Sweden, Finland and Russia, as well as in 2002 near the Nemunas River in Lithuania.

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