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Perophora japonica
Image courtesy of John Bishop, Marine Biological Association, Plymouth, UK. Image shows (A) a colony overgrowing the bryozoan Membranipora membranacea on kelp and (B) the characteristic bright yellow terminal buds of P. japonica.
Perophora japonica
Taxonomic Group: Tunicates


Perophora japonica is a colonial tunicate composed of translucent, yellow-green, round zooids which are connected by stolons. A unique feature of this species is the occurrence of terminal buds, bright yellow star-shaped plaques at the tip of the stolons which can break off, float away and grow into new colonies. It is native to Japan, Korea, and Peter the Great Bay, Russia. It has been introduced to Europe and the West Coast of the United States. In the US, colonies have been found in Humboldt Bay and San Diego Bay, California. This species was likely introduced by fouling on ships hulls or through aquaculture transfers. No impacts have been reported in its introduced range, but it fouls cultured oysters in Japan.

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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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