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Hydroides elegans
Image courtesy of Dr. Erica Keppel, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Hydroides elegans
Taxonomic Group: Annelids-Polychaetes


Hydroides elegans is a serpulid tubeworm. It was originally described from Sydney, Australia and is now widely distributed around the world. Its origin is unknown, but is presumed to be somewhere in the Indo-Pacific. It is considered introduced on both sides of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea, the Northeast Pacific (California-Mexico), Hawaii, Japan, Russia and New Zealand. Like other serpulid worms, it secretes a calcareous tube on hard surfaces such as rocks, corals, mangroves, shells, pilings, floats and ships’ hulls. It is an abundant fouling organism in many warm-water harbors, settling on maritime structures and possibly competing with other fouling species. In some areas of its introduced range it interferes with oyster settlement and causes extensive mortality.

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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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