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Molgula ficus
Image courtesy of Brianna Tracy, University of San Diego
Molgula ficus
Taxonomic Group: Tunicates

Overview:

Molgula ficus is a solitary tunicate native to Australia and the Indo-West Pacific region including the Gulf of Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. In the East Pacific, it was discovered in surveys in Southern California between 1994 and 1997, but may have been introduced earlier. Molgula ficus was originally misidentified as the native California species Molgula verrucifera, but is much larger, and is not a brooder. Since its discovery in Southern California it has been found from San Diego Bay, north to Channel Islands Harbor, adjacent to Port Hueneme. One additional collection was made in San Francisco Bay near Alameda in 2005, but M. ficus does not appear to be established here. It was probably introduced through ship fouling. There are no reported impacts in California, but in Chile where it was introduced in 1997, it has caused problems for scallop aquaculture by fouling ropes and other equipment.

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Citation:

Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT. .
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
http://invasions.si.edu/nemesis/.
Access Date:



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Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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