Aliens - PhMuseum

Aliens

Emanuela Colombo

2018 - 2019

When an organism is transported by man far from its original place, it is artificially introduced in an environment where it had not been present before and where it would not have gone autonomously, this organism can spread uncontrollably (fostered by the absence of natural enemies and mechanism of environmental self-regulation) becoming a full-fledged “alien”. An invader capable of carving out a space at the expense of other species. This process has increased during the last decades due to the movements of goods and people and it has worsened because of the rise in temperatures which facilitate the introduction of many tropical species in temperate climate zones. The spread of the alien species has become one of the most obvious signs of the world’s current ecological imbalance.

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  • AFRICAN CLAWED FROG (XENOPUS LAEVIS)
    It is native to southern Africa.
    It was introduced in north America and Europe as laboratory animal and then released into the wild.

  • ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (PSITTACULA KRAMERI)
    It is native to Africa.
    It spread to Asia and Europe. It has been introduced as pet and then released. It reproduces fast in not too cold areas. It is present in many cities such as Rome, Milan, Turin, Genoa and Florence.

  • GRAY SQUIRREL (SCIURUS CAROLINENSIS)
    It is native to northern America.
    It spread to Europe as pet immediately after the war years and then released. It started competing with the other local squirrels that are now on the verge of extinction.

  • FALL WEBWORM (HYPHANTRIA CUNEA)
    It is native to northern and central America.
    It spread to Europe in the ‘40s and caused severe damage to the local plants. This was because it had no natural enemies and it nourished greedily of leaves.

  • PURPLE TANG OR YELLOWTAIL TANG (ZEBRASOMA
    XANTHURUM)
    It is native to the Red Sea and Maldives.
    It has been in the Mediterranean Sea since 2015.
    These specimens were probably released from some aquarium and then started reproducing.

  • BOX TREE MOTH (CYDALIMA PERSPECTALIS)
    It is native to eastern Asia.
    It came to Europe further to the importation of plants in 2011. It has become invasive since it has no natural enemies.

  • CAULERPA CYLINDRACEA (GREEN ALGAE, GREEN
    SEAWEED)
    It is native to Indo-Pacific ocean and Australia.
    It was first seen in the Mediterranean basin in 1990 along the coasts of Libya. Nowadays, it can be found throughout the Mediterranean basin.
    This seaweed can colonize every kind of substrate from 0 to 70 m, it can also affect biodiversity and the habitat structural complexity.

  • BUDDLEJA DAVIDII
    It is native to northwestern China.
    It was introduced in Europe in 1895 as ornamental purpose but it immediately became invasive. It modified the fauna of the environment where it had been introduced.

  • PHYLLORIZA PUNCTATA ()
    It is native to Australia’s seas.
    It was first seen in the Mediterranean in 2010.
    It was probably released from some aquarium and it reproduced fast.

  • CASTNIIDAE MOTH (PAYSANDISIA ARCHON BURMEISTER) It is native to southern America.
    It introduced in Europe in 2001 through some loads of palm leaves of which the larvae feed themselves.
    It is invasive since it has no natural enemies.

  • JAPANESE BEETLE (POPILLIA JAPONICA)
    It is native to Japan.
    Larvae came to north America, northern Europe and China further to importation of bulbs from Japan.
    It was first seen in continental Europe in summer 2014 in the Ticino natural park, both Piedmont and Lombardy side, and it spread extensively. It has no natural enemies therefore it is extremely invasive.

  • EGYPTIAN GOOSE (ALOPOCHEN AEGYPTIACA)
    It is native to subtropical Africa.
    It has been imported in Europe to be raised but afterwards has proven to be much more resistant than the other members of the Anatidae family and it has been out-competing endemic species.

  • BALKAN FROG (PELOPHYLAX KURTMUELLERI)
    It is native to eastern Europe.
    It was brought to Italy immediately after the war years to be used as food.
    Now, it invades inland waters of Liguria, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia.

  • EASTERN MUSK TURTLE (STERNOTHERUS ODORATUS)
    It is native to northern America.
    It was introduced in Europe as pet further to the ban on trade in red-eared slider, which is extremely invasive.

  • MOSQUITOFISH (GAMBUSIA AFFINIS)
    It is native to northern America.
    It spread to Asia and Europe from the ‘20s, when it was released into inland open water to fight mosquitos. In fact, the diet
    of a mosquitofish consists in large numbers of mosquito larvae.

  • NUTRIA (MYOCASTOR COYPUS)
    It is native to southern America.
    It spread to the north of America and Europe. It was introduced as a fur-bearing animal in the ‘30s and subsequently released. It has no natural predators and it spreads fast.

  • CASSIOPEA ANDROMEDA (JELLYFISH)
    It is native to Suez canal and Turkish coasts.
    It was first seen in the Mediterranean in 2010. It usually lives upside-down on the bottom in shallow waters and sandy sea beds and it is notoriously stinging.

  • BROWN MARMORATED STINK BUG (HALYOMORPHA HALYS)
    It is native to Asia.
    It spread to north America and Europe through some load of wood that had come from East in 2011.

  • SACRED IBIS (THRESKIORNIS AETHIOPICUS)
    It is native to sub-Saharan Africa, Iraq and Egypt (where it has practically disappeared).
    It is because of escaping or intentional releasing from zoos and private collections that the sacred ibis has come to Europe. It has no natural enemies therefore it has been spreading fast.

  • RED LOUISIANA CRAWFISH (PROCAMBARUS CLARCKII)
    It is native to southern America.
    It spread to Europe from the ‘80s, after being released or esca- ped from the aquaculture facilities where it had been raised for alimentary use.


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