NEMESIS Bioregion Distribution:


Native  Introduced  Cryptogenic  Failed


First Non-native North American Marine/Estuarine Record: 1859
First Non-native West Coast Marine/Estuarine Record: 1859



General Invasion History:

Ectopleura crocea (also known as Pinauay crocea or Tubularia crocea) was first described from 'Boston Bay', Massachusetts by Louis Agassiz in 1862 (as Parypha crocea). On the Atlantic coast of North America, its presumed native region, E. crocea has been collected from the Miramichi Estuary, New Brunswick, south to Lake Worth, Florida and Port Aransas, Texas (Fraser 1944; Deevey 1950; Defenbaugh 1973; Ruiz et al. unpublished data). It has also been collected on the Caribbean shore of South America at Santa Marta, Colombia (Wedler 1975), where we consider it cryptogenic. Ectopleura crocea has a wide global distribution, and was apparently introduced to non-native locations starting in or before the 19th century (Deevey 1950; Carlton 1979; Watson 1999).

North American Invasion History:

Invasion History on the West Coast:

Even before its description in Massachusetts, this hydroid was collected from San Francisco Bay, California (as Parypha microcephala, Agassiz 1859, cited by Carlton 1979). In San Francisco Bay, it occurs in the Central Bay, the South Bay, and San Pablo Bay (Carlton 1979; Cohen and Carlton 1995; Cohen et al. 2005; Ruiz et al. unpublished data).To the south, E. crocea was collected from the major ports of San Diego (in 1876, Clark 1876, cited by Carlton 1979) and Los Angeles (in 1902, Torrey 1902, cited by Carlton 1979), before it was recorded from the smaller coastal bays: Mission Bay (in 1896, USNM 43547, U.S. Museum of Natural History 2007), Newport Bay (in 1938, Carlton 1979, USNM 43543, U.S. Museum of Natural History 2007), Kings Harbor, Santa Monica Bay (Fraser 1948, cited by Carlton 1979), and Elkhorn Slough (MacGinitie 1935, cited by Carlton 1979, Wasson et al. 2001).

To the north, E. crocea was reported from Port Simpson, British Columbia (54.6 N) in 1911. Early collections were also made from the San Juan Islands (Washington), north to the Queen Charlotte Islands, and an unspecified record from 'the Gulf of Alaska' (Fraser 1937; Carlton 1979). Mills (in Cohen et al. 1998) considered the reports from San Juan Islands to be unverified, and perhaps the result of taxonomic confusion. However, this hydroid was found on fouling plates in Ketchikan, Alaska, in 2003 (Ruiz et al. 2006). We do not know if this hydroid is established in Alaska or British Columbia. Ectopleura crocea was collected in Coos Bay, Oregon starting in 1948 (Fraser 1948, cited by Carlton 1979; Carlton 1989; Ruiz et al., unpublished data), and on fouling plates in Humboldt Bay, California in 2003 (Ruiz et al., unpublished data).

Invasion History elsewhere in the World:

Ectopleura crocea has been reported from the tropical Pacific at Jicaron Island, Panama (Fraser 1938), and the Southeastern Pacific at Valparaiso, Chile (in 1905, Deevey 1950), but a record from the Galapagos Islands (Fraser 1937) is considered doubtful (Calder et al. 2003). In the Southwestern Pacific, it was first collected in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia (as Tubularia ralphii, Bale 1884, cited by Watson 1999). It has also been collected in Sydney Harbor and Port Kembla, in New South Wales; at Fremantle, in Western Australia (Watson 1999); and at Auckland, New Zealand (Cranfield et al. 1998).

In the Northeast Atlantic, E. crocea appears to be an introduction. It was first collected in the Azores in 1989 (Cardigos et al. 2006) and is also known from Madeira (Wirtz 2007). It was noted as a rare occurrence on ship hulls at Plymouth, England in 1895 and 1907 (Plymouth Marine Fauna, http://www.mba.ac.uk/pmf/) and at Ipswich, England in 1959 (Rees 1963). It is not listed as a Mediterranean invader by Galil (2009), but available references suggest that it is mostly known from harbors (eg. Villefranche-sur-mer, France, 1895, Schuchert 2010; Bay of Naples, Italy, 1892, Bouillon et al. 2004; Israel, 1946, Vervoort 1993). In South Africa, it was found in Durban and Cape Town in 1947 (Millard 1952, cited by Mead et al. 2011b; Ewer 1953, cited by Millard 1975, as Tubularia warreni; Schuchert 2010). In the Southwest Atlantic, it occurs from Uruguay to Bahia Blanca, Argentina (Genzano et al. 2009). It was first reported from this region in 1971, and is considered cryptogenic (Orensanz et al. 2002). In the Northwest Pacific, Tubularia sagaminea and T. mesembryanthemum, reported from Japan (Stechow 1907; Yamada 1959; Hirohito 1988) and China (Hargitt 1927, Yamada 1959. all cited by Imazu et al. 2014), are all considered synonyms of E. crocea.