Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, a freshwater bivalve mollusk, is indigenous to the drainage river basin of the Ukraine. With increasing canal developement throughout Europe, the mollusk has been able to spread into deeper regions of the Dnieper River tributaries.
The Quagga, a relative of the “zebra” mussel, was first discovered on U.S soil in the Great Lakes around the early 90′s , and has already made its way to Lake Mojave in Eastern California!
The Quaggas are water filterers, and they consume much of the phytoplankton and other suspended organisms, which in turn decrease the food supply for consumers in the food chain like zooplankton.
Interestingly, the Quagga cleanses the water, and makes the water visibly clearer as more green algae is filtered out. The problem with this phenomena is that too much sunlight can alter the niches of certain organisms that experience less sunlight on average.
The Quagga is a dominant and colonial organism that can stick to both hard and soft surfaces, like boats, docks, and smooth rocks, which make them extremely difficult to eradicate. Much is yet to be learned about the Dreissena, but on thing is certain; its polymorphic and adaptive capabilities should not be underestimated.