Invasion History

First Non-native North American Tidal Record:
First Non-native West Coast Tidal Record:
First Non-native East/Gulf Coast Tidal Record:

General Invasion History:

Hippopodina tahitiensis was described from French Polynesia by Leca and d'Hondt (1993), and then was later recognized by Tilbrook (1999) as widely distributed species, frequently confused with H. feegeensis. This bryozoan is considered native to the Indo-West Pacific, from French Polynesia and Vanuatu to Australia and Singapore.  It is considered introduced in the Hawaiian Islands (1948, Carlton and Eldredge 2009) and in the Western Atlantic from Puerto Rico to Brazil (Osburn 1940; Vieira et al. 2008). In the Eastern Pacific it was found on Gorgona Island, on the Pacific coast of Colombia (Hastings 1930) and was collected in the Galapagos Islands in 2016 (McCann et al. 2019). 

North American Invasion History:

Invasion History Elsewhere in the World:

The extent of invasions by Hippopodina tahitiensis is unclear because most records are reported as H. feegeensis (Tilbrook 1999; Tilbrook et al. 2006). There is also possible confusion with H. irirkiriensis (McCann et al. 2019).  Hippopodina tahitiensis was first collected as H. feegeensis in Hawaii in 1948 and has been found in several bays and harbors on Oahu (Carlton and Eldredge 2009). The first record in the Eastern Pacific was from Gorgona Island, Pacific Colombia (Hastings 1930, as H. feegeensis).  As H. feegeensis it has been reported from Puerto Rico, the Gulf of Mexico, the Tortugas, and Brazil (Osburn 1940; Vieira et al. 2009). Further morphological and genetic identification of Atlantic specimens is desirable. 


Hippopodina tahitiensis is an encrusting bryozoan, often forming extensive colonies. The autozooids are roughly rectangular, lightly calcified, and separated by well-defined grooves. The frontal wall is convex, covered with tubercles, and perforated by 10–12 pseudopores. The primary orifice is hoof-shaped, rounded distally, and with lightly narrower proximal margins. There are two lateral condyles. The avicularia are short and stout and usually single, but sometimes paired or lacking. They are usually placed above the orifice and medially directed. The ovicells are large, flat, and embedded, and perforated with numerous pseudopores. H. irikriensis is distinguished by a triad ancestrula, but the ancestrula of H. tahitiensis has not been observed (Leca and d'Hondt 1993; McCann et al. 2019). 
Hippopodina tahitiensis was described from French Polynesia as Hippoppetraliia tahitiensis (Leca and d'Hondt 1993). Tilbrook described this bryozoan as H. virosa, before recognizing it as a synonym (Tilbrook 2006). It has been widely confused with H. feegeensis Busk 1844 and H. irirkiriensis (Tilbrook 199; Tilbrook et al. 2006).


Taxonomic Tree

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Bryozoa
Class:   Gymnolaemata
Order:   Cheilostomata
Suborder:   Ascophora
Family:   Hippopodinidae
Genus:   Hippopodina
Species:   tahitiensis


Hippopetraliella tahitiensis (Leca & d'Hondt, 1993)
Hippopodina virosa #Deleted #Deleted (Tilbrook, 1999)

Potentially Misidentified Species

Hippopodina feegeensis
Busk 1884.Hippopodina feegeensis was described from Fiji. Many records of H, tahtitiensis and H. irikiriensis have been initially identified as this species (Tilbrook 1999; Tilbrook et al. 2001).

Hippopodina irikiriensis
Tilbrook 1999. The two species differ slightly in the shape of the orifice.



Hippopodina tahitiensis is an encrusting, calcified bryozoan colony composed of many individual zooids. The zooids feed by extending the ciliated tentacles of the lophophore as a funnel, creating a current, and driving food particles into their mouths. The food is guided along the tentacles and through the pharynx by the cilia. Larger food particles can be moved or captured by flicking or contracting the tentacles (Barnes 1983). Hippopodina tahitiensis belongs to a taxonomic group which has lecithotrophic larvae which settle very quickly after release). Larvae settle on a substrate and usually metamorphose into an ancestrula. Ancestrula of H. irikiriensis has three lobes (Eitan 1972), but that of H. tahitiensis has not been described (McCann et al. 2019).

Ecology- Hippopodina tahitiensis was described from a pearl oyster (Pinctada margaritifera (Leca and d'Hondt 1999), and from fouling plates in marinas and docks in the Galapagos (McCann et al. 2019).


Phytoplankton, detritus

Trophic Status:

Suspension Feeder



General HabitatRockyNone
General HabitatMarinas & DocksNone
General HabitatCoral reefNone
General HabitatOyster ReefNone
Salinity RangePolyhaline18-30 PSU
Salinity RangeEuhaline30-40 PSU
Tidal RangeSubtidalNone
Vertical HabitatEpibenthicNone

Life History

No ecological or economic impacts have been reported for Hippopodina tahitiensis. 

Tolerances and Life History Parameters

Broad Temperature RangeNoneSubtropical-Tropical
Broad Salinity RangeNonePolyhaline-Euhaline

General Impacts

Impacts are unknown.

Regional Distribution Map

Bioregion Region Name Year Invasion Status Population Status
SP-XVI None 1993 Native Estab
SP-V None 0 Native Estab
AUS-XI None 0 Native Estab
AUS-III None 0 Native Estab
EAS-III None 0 Native Estab
SP-XXI None 1948 Def Estab
SEP-Z None 2016 Def Estab
SEP-H None 2008 Def Estab
SA-II None 1937 Def Estab
PAN_PAC Panama Pacific Coast 2008 Def Estab
CAR-IV None 1909 Def Estab
SEP-I None 1930 Def Estab

Occurrence Map

OCC_ID Author Year Date Locality Status Latitude Longitude


Barnes, Robert D. (1983) Invertebrate Zoology, Saunders, Philadelphia. Pp. 883

Bock, Phillip 2003-2013 Recent and Fossil Bryozoa. <missing URL>

Carlton, James T.; Eldredge, Lucius (2009) Marine bioinvasions of Hawaii: The introduced and cryptogenic marine and estuarine animals and plants of the Hawaiian archipelago., Bishop Museum Bulletin in Cultural and Environmental Studies 4: 1-202

Carlton, James T.; Keith, Inti; Ruiz, Gregory M. (2019) Assessing marine bioinvasions in the Galápagos Islands: implications for conservation biology and marine protected areas, Aquatic Invasions 14(1): 1-20

Coles S. L., DeFelice R. C., Eldredge, L. G. (1999a) Nonindigenous marine species introductions in the harbors of the south and west shores of Oahu, Hawaii., Bishop Museum Technical Report 15: 1-212

Eitan, G. (1972) Types of metamorphosis and early astogeny in Hippopodina feegeensis (Busk) Bryozoa:- Ascophora), Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 8: 27-30

Hastings, Anna B. (1930) Cheilostomatous Polyzoa from the vicinity of the Panama Canal, collected by Dr, C. Crossland on the cruise of S. Y. St. george, Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 47: 697–750

Leca, L.; d'Hondt, J.-L. (1993) [Hippopetraliella tahitiensis n. sp. n. sp., a new Cheilostome bryozoan (Petraliellidae) from French Polynesia], Cahiers de Biologie Marine 34: 401-209

McCann, Linda D.;; McCuller, Megan I., Carlton, James T.[ ,Keith, Inti; Geller, Jonathan B.; Ruiz, Gregory M. (2019) Bryozoa (Cheilostomata, Ctenostomata, and Cyclostomata) in Galapagos Island fouling communities, Aquatic Invasions 14: 85-131

Osburn, Raymond C. (1940) Bryozoa of Porto Rico, N. Y. Academy of Sciences - Scientific Survey of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands 16(3): 321-486

Tilbrook, Kevin J. (1999) Description of Hippopodina feegeensis and three other species of Hippopodina, 1909 (Bryozoa: Cheilostomatida), Journal of Zoology (London) 247: 449-456

Tilbrook, Kevin J. (2006) Cheilostomatous Bryozoa from the Solomon Islands, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Monographs 4: 1-385

Tilbrook, Kevin J. ; Hayward , P. J.;; Gordon, D. P. (2001) Cheilostomatous Bryozoa from Vanuatu, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 131: 35-109

Vieira, Leandro M.; Migotto, Alvaro E.; Winston, Judith E. (2008) Synopsis and annotated checklist of Recent marine Bryozoa from Brazil, Zootaxa 1810: 1-39