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Sphaeroma terebrans
Image courtesy of Marilyn Schotte and the CC BY-NC-SA license.
Sphaeroma terebrans
Taxonomic Group: Crustaceans-Isopods


Sphaeroma terebrans is a wood-boring mangrove isopod. It was first described from Brazil, but is thought to be native to the Indo-Pacific and likely introduced to the Atlantic on the hulls of wooden ships sometime before 1850. It is introduced throughout the Western Atlantic (South Carolina to Venezuela and Brazil) and Western Africa (Nigeria to South Africa). It occurs in warm-temperate to tropical climates on mangrove roots, salt marshes, and man-made structures such as buoys, piers, and ship hulls. It plays an important role in some ecosystems by recycling dead wood and regulating the growth of mangroves. However, its direct impacts on mangrove communities is mixed, and in some cases has negative impacts on mangrove growth, while in others, it appears to stimulate productivity.

* Content for this species is based on the literature and peer review is pending - if you have comments or feedback please contact Paul Fofonoff at

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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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