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Bugula neritina
Image courtesy of Melissa Frey, Royal BC Museum
Bugula neritina
Taxonomic Group: Bryozoans


Bugula neritina was first described from the Mediterranean Sea in 1758 by Linnaeus. Since then it has been identified as a species complex of unknown tropical-warm-temperate origin. At least three cryptic species are present and can only be distinguished by molecular methods. It has been widely identified in fouling communities and is known to be introduced to higher-latitudes and more isolated oceanic regions, including the coast of Northern Europe, the Southwest Atlantic, the Northeast Pacific, the Southwest Pacific and Hawaii. On both coasts of North America, it has extended its range northward, reaching Coos Bay, Oregon by 1986 and the Gulf of Maine by 2000. It is a frequent fouling organism and grows on a number of surfaces, including rocks, seaweed, oysters, ship hulls, maritime structures, power plant intake pipes, and aquaculture equipment.

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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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