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Botrylloides giganteus
Image courtesy of Brianna Tracy, University of San Diego
Botrylloides giganteus
Taxonomic Group: Tunicates


The colonial tunicate Botrylloides giganteum was first described from Senegal in 1949, but its native range is unknown. It has been found in South Africa, Mozambique, Brazil, Mexico and California.  It was first collected in the United States in 1997 at the Naval Station in San Diego Bay, where it was identified as B. perspicuum. Since then it has been collected at several sites in California and Mexico, including San Diego, Mission Bay, Alamitos Bay, Huntington Harbor near Los Angeles, and Bahiá San Quintín. It is presumed to have been introduced by ship fouling. Like other colonial tunicates, it can cover extensive areas and may outcompete other species for space.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT. .
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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