Species alert

Raccoon Procyon lotor

Population of this North American predator in Poland was founded around 1990 by individuals immigrating from eastern Germany after their introduction there before WW II. By now the species invaded the western part of the country. Recently racoons are more and more popular as pets. As a consequence, the number of records of individuals that escaped or were released is increasing throughout Poland. Raccoons are omnivorous and may have negative impact not only on ground-nesting birds but, thanks to climbing skills, also on species breeding over the ground. In addition, a nematode Baylisascaris procyonis, carried by racoons, may be dangerous for humans. Any information on occurrence of this species is very valuable. Photo by Magdalena Bartoszewicz

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Grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis

The North American Grey squirrel carries a poxvirus that poses a deadly threat for the European red squirrels. The greys are also effective competitors for food. Their invasion on the British Isles, started by introduction in 1850s, led to dramatic decrease in the native squirrels and locally, to its complete extirpation. A similar scenario, albeit on a smaller scale, continues in northern Italy – the other area of Grey squirrel occurrence in Europe. There are no confirmed records of this species in Poland yet. However, there are recent cases of keeping it as pets. Although this fashion is not popular, there is a risk of escapes and deliberate releases of captive animals into the wild. Therefore any information on keeping of this species and any records of free-ranging Grey squirrels are very important. It should be remembered, however, that there is a risk of misidentification with dark form of the native red squirrel. Photo by Renata i Marek Kosińscy

Tarantobelus arachnicida

This south-American parasite nematode was described in 2017, as a species new to science. It was discovered in Poland, on tarantula spiders Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens imported from Venezuela. It causes 100% mortality in infested spiders. It is necessary to study biology of this species and assess potential risks of its presence in Poland, including possibility of infection for native spiders. It requires collecting parasites from infected exotic spiders. Symptoms of infection include anorexia, gradually increasing lethargy and white and sticky fluid discharge near the chelicerae. Cases of infectation of exotic spiders can be reported to Jerzy Kowal. Photo by Jerzy Kowal

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Bow-legged fir aphid Cinara curvipes

About 1990 this North-American mite was accidentally introduced to Europe, probably with coniferous trees imported for ornamental purposes. In Poland it was first recorded in 2013. This species feeds mostly on fir species, both native and ornamental. Its mass occurrence may threaten natural fir stand in Poland.

Cinara curvipes is relatively large (length of adult individuals is 3.4-5.5 mm). Its distinctive colour pattern (head and thorax shining black, centre of abdomen matt black with shining black tip and edges, the third pair of black-and-brown tibia long and bowed) makes identification of adult individuals easy.

Information on the date and place of records of this species, preferably accompanied by pictures, should be sent to Karina Wieczorek Photo by. Karina Wieczorek

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Another neotropical parasite described from Poland


An article published in Annals of Parasitology reports on invasion of Tarantobelus arachnicida, a nematode species new to science, affecting exotic spiders kept in Poland.

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The Japanese larch in the Tatra Mountains


Genetic analyses of larches in the Tatra National Park (S Poland) revealed that ¼ of the studied trees are Japanese larches Larix kaempferi. Occurrence of hybrids of this species with the native European larch L. decidua was also confirmed.

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The first record of the Nearctic Peacock fly in Poland


The North American Peacock fly Callopistromyia annulipes was first recorded in Europe in 2007 in Switzerland and Germany. Subsequent records were in Italy (2009), the Netherlands, France and Slovenia (2011), Belgium Austria and Slovakia (2014), and Hungary and Czech Republic (2016). The first Polish record of the species was in 2018 in Wrocław (SW Poland). An article reporting this discovery was publihsed in Dipteron.

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Ring-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri breeding in Poland


On 13.05.2018 earlier speculations on possible breeding of Ring-necked parakeets Psittacula krameri in Poland were confirmed with pictures of two young in a tree hole.

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Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are commonly regarded as a major threat to the biological diversity on a global scale, second only to habitat loss. Although the problem is well recognised, concerted attempts to solve it have only been undertaken within last decades few years. Collection and dissemination of information on IAS are widely recognised as crucial components for solving the problems they pose.

In 1999, the database on species introduced into Poland was developed at the Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow for the Ministry of the Environment. In 2003, thanks to a grant from the US State Department, part of the data was translated and made accessible on the Internet.

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Latest updates

  • Agrionemys horsfieldii GRAY 1844


    2020-07-14 14:47more »

  • Cordylobia anthropophaga (Blanchard & Berenger-Feraud, 1872)

    Tumbu fly


    2020-07-07 13:24more »

  • Quadraspidiotus perniciosus (Comstock)

    San José scale


    2020-06-29 12:16more »