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Watersipora subtorquata complex
Image courtesy of Melissa Frey, Royal BC Museum
Watersipora subtorquata complex
Taxonomic Group: Bryozoans


Watersipora subtorquata is an encrusting bryozoan widely distributed around the globe. Its colonies can be erect and leaf-like, with extensive overlapping calcareous crusts and curled edges, which create secondary habitat for the settlement of other marine invertebrates. Its native range is poorly understood because of taxonomic confusion with related species, particularly W. subovoidea. However, introduced populations have been recorded on the West coast of the United States, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and South Africa. This species is known from rocks, oyster shells, pilings, floats, oil platforms, ships' hulls, and fouling plates. It is tolerant of copper and mercury antifouling paints and has outcompeted congeneric species in some areas of its introduced range.

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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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Edgewater, MD 21037-0028 Tel: 443 482 2200
Fax: 443 482 2380

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