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Botrylloides violaceus
Image courtesy of Melissa Frey, Royal BC Museum, Canada
Botrylloides violaceus
Taxonomic Group: Tunicates


Botrylloides violaceus is native to the Northwest Pacific from northern Japan to southern Korea and northern China. It has been widely introduced to the Northeast Pacific, the Northwest Atlantic, and parts of the Northeast Atlantic. On the West Coast of North America, it was first discovered in Santa Barbara, California in 1966 and has since spread along the coast from Mexico to Alaska. On the East Coast, it was found in New England in the late 1970s and can now be found from the Chesapeake Bay to Newfoundland, Canada. It is a common fouling organism throughout much of its introduced range. It frequently displaces other fouling organisms, including native and introduced tunicates, bryozoans, barnacles, and mussels through competition for space and food.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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