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Haminoea japonica
Image courtesy of David W. Behrens, Encyclopedia of Life CC BY-NC-SA License.
Haminoea japonica
Taxonomic Group: Mollusks-Gastropods


Haminoea japonica is a cephalaspidean sea-slug commonly known as the Japanese Bubble-shell snail. It is native to the Northwest Pacific from northern Japan to Hong Kong. It is introduced on the West coast of North America, where its range spans from British Columbia to southern California. Introduced populations are also known from Spain, France and Italy. This species is associated with Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas) and Japanese Littleneck (Venerupis philippinarum) aquaculture, the likeliest vectors for its introduction and spread. It inhabits shallow silt and mud substrates, rocky shores, oyster beds, boat ramps, marinas and dock floats, where it grazes on algae. This species has had impacts on human health in San Francisco Bay where it is a host to the trematode which causes severe ‘Swimmer’s Itch’ in bathers.

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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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