First Non-native North American Marine/Estuarine Record: 2003
First Non-native West Coast Marine/Estuarine Record: 2003
Perophora japonica is native to Japan, Korea, and Peter the Great Bay, near Vladivostok, Russia (Nishikawa 1991, Sanamyan 1998). It is introduced to Humboldt Bay and San Diego Bay, California and parts of Europe. Ship hull fouling is the probable vector for this tunicate.
Perophora japonica was found on oyster rafts in the North Slough of Humboldt Bay, California (CA) in August 2003. This appeared to be an established population (Lambert 2005). In 2011, P. japonica was identified from San Diego Bay, CA (Gretchen Lambert 2012, personal communication). In 2012, specimens were found on fouling plates in Bodega Harbor, CA, apparently established (Ruiz et al. unpublished data). Fouling on recreational boats and commercial ships or with aquaculture species are possible vectors for this tunicate.
Perophora japonica was found in Lezardrieux on the north coast of Brittany, France, in 1982 (Monniot and Monniot 1985, cited by Nishikawa et al. 2000). Subsequently, it appeared at other European coastal sites including Guernsey, in the Channel Islands (in 2003, MarLin 2007), Plymouth, England (in 1999, Nishikawa et al. 2000; MarLin 2000), St. Vaast, Normandy, France (Goulletquer et al. 2002), and the Oosterschelde in the Netherlands (in 2000, Gittenberger 2007). From 2008 to 2009, two colonies were found in Baiona, Spain and are the first records on the Iberian peninsula (El Nagar et al. 2010).