Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Ship hull fouling (pathway vector)



Ship hull fouling (pathway vector)


  • Last modified
  • 25 September 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pathway Vector
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Ship hull fouling (pathway vector)
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Ship hull fouling (pathway vector)

International Common Names

  • English: Boat hull fouling; Hull fouling

Species Transported by Vector

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SpeciesNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Acanthogobius flavimanus Yes Yes Nico and Fuller, 2008
Acanthophora spiciferaAttached plants that could colonise by either spore release or vegetative fragmentation Yes Yes Doty, 1961
Alitta succinea (pile worm) Yes
Amphibalanus improvisus (bay barnacle) Yes Yes Carlton et al., 2011
Arcuatula senhousia (Asian date mussel)adults Yes Yes NIMPIS, 2002
Ascidiella aspersa (European sea squirt) Yes Yes
Asterias amurensis (northern Pacific seastar) Yes
Austrominius modestusPerhaps from New Zealand to Australia before 1836, and to Europe Yes Yes Crisp, 1958; Foster, 1982
Botrylloides perspicuusAdult colonies or colony fragments Yes Yes
Botrylloides violaceus (violet tunicate) Yes Yes Lambert, 2007; Pederson et al., 2005
Brachidontes pharaonis Yes Yes CIESM, 2009
Bugula neritina (brown bryozoan) Yes Yes
Caprella muticaC. mutica observed on commercial (fishing boats) and recreational boat hulls Yes Yes Cook et al., 2007a
Carcinus maenas (European shore crab) Yes Yes
Carijoa riisei (branched pipe coral) Yes Yes
Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindraceaanchors Yes Yes Verlaque et al., 2003
Cercopagis pengoi (fishhook waterflea)adult or resting egg Yes Crosier and Molloy, 2007
Chama macerophylla (leafy jewelbox) Yes Yes
Chthamalus proteusFrequency unknown; adults observed on boat hulls in native and invaded range Yes Yes Zabin, 2005
Ciona intestinalis (sea vase) Yes Yes
Ciona savignyi Yes Yes
Codium fragile subsp. tomentosoidesErect plants and green bump form Yes Yes Carlton and Scanlon, 1985
Codium parvulum Yes Hoffman et al., 2014
Corbicula fluminea (Asian clam)Transport of pediveliger larvae and juveniles Yes Karatayev et al., 2007
Cordylophora (euryhaline hydroid)Assumed adult colonies Yes Yes Nico and Fuller, 2008; Carlton, 1979; Pienimäki and Leppäkoski, 2004; Streftaris et al., 2005
Corella eumyota (orange-tipped sea squirt)Adults Yes Yes Wasson et al., 2001; Lambert, 2004; Minchin, 2007; El-Nagar et al., 2010
Crassostrea gigas (Pacific oyster) Yes Minchin and Gollasch, 2008
Crassostrea virginica (eastern oyster) Yes Yes
Crepidula fornicata (American slipper limpet)For Italy or Greece (see history chapter), and for the arrival in Normandy in 1944 Yes Blanchard, 1995
Didemnum vexillum (carpet sea squirt) Yes Yes Lambert, 2007; Pederson et al., 2005
Diplosoma listerianum Yes Yes Lambert, 2007; Pederson et al., 2005
Dreissena polymorpha (zebra mussel) Yes Yes
Dreissena rostriformis bugensis (quagga mussel) Yes Yes Orlova et al., 2005
Elodea canadensis (Canadian pondweed) Yes
Eriocheir sinensis (Chinese mitten crab) Yes Gollasch, 2006
Eualetes tulipaMost probable vector for adults. No reports in the literature Yes
Ficopomatus enigmaticus (tubeworm)Transported as adult Yes Yes Hewitt et al., 2009
Gammarus tigrinusPossible Yes Sylvester and MacIsaac, 2010
Gracilaria salicorniaAttached plants Yes Yes
Grateloupia turuturuGrowing on boat hulls Yes Farnham, 1978; Farnham, 1980; Simon et al., 2001
Hemigrapsus sanguineus (Asian shore crab)Adult Yes
Hemigrapsus takanoi (brush-clawed shore crab)Larval/adult Yes Gollasch, 1999
Hydrilla verticillata (hydrilla) Yes
Hypnea musciformisDrift plants entangled around hull appendages Yes
Limnomysis benedeniMysids attached to the outside hull of ships Yes Yes Behning, 1938; Reinhold and Tittizer, 1997; Reinhold and Tittizer, 1998; Wittmann, 1995
Limnoperna fortunei (golden mussel)Fixed juveniles and adults Yes Nico and Fuller, 2008
Limnoria lignorum (gribble) Yes Yes Iljin, 1992; Shino, 1950; Vinogradov et al., 2006
Limnoria quadripunctata (gribble)Colonies in hulls of wooden boats is seen as a likely means of dispersal Yes Yes Carlton, 1975
Marisa cornuarietis (giant ramshorn)Eggs and/or snails attached to hull in vessels operating in reshwater systems Yes
Miconia calvescens (miconia)Introduced in Nuku Hiva and Fatu Hiva (Marquesas, French Polynesia) by contaminated vehicles Yes
Microcosmus squamigerAssumed to be the main factor responsible for adult transport Yes Rius et al., 2008b
Mycale grandis (orange keyhole sponge) Yes Yes
Myriophyllum heterophyllum (broadleaf watermilfoil) Yes
Myriophyllum spicatum (spiked watermilfoil) Yes
Mytilicola intestinalis (mussel red worm)In infected bivalve hosts attached to ship/boat hull. Yes Yes Rohde, 1993; Wickstead, 1960
Mytilopsis sallei (Caribbean false mussel) Yes Willan et al., 2000
Mytilus galloprovincialis (Mediterranean mussel) Yes
Neogobius fluviatilis (monkey goby)Possibly as eggs Yes Yes Ahnelt et al., 1998
Neogobius melanostomus (round goby)Possibly as eggs Yes Yes Corkum et al., 2004; Jude, 1997; Jude et al., 1992
Palaemon macrodactylus (oriental shrimp)Most likely as adults Yes Ashelby et al., 2004; Béguer et al., 2007; Cuesta et al., 2004; González-Ortegón et al., 2007; Micu and Nita, 2009; Newman, 1963; Spivak et al., 2006; Udekem et al., 2005
Percnon gibbesi (sally lightfoot crab)adult Yes Yes Cannicci et al., 2006
Perna viridis (Asian green mussel) Yes
Petricolaria pholadiformis (false angel wing) Yes Yes Zenetos et al., 2004
Petromyzon marinus (sea lamprey)Adults Yes Fuller et al., 2008
Phyllorhiza punctata (Australian spotted jellyfish) Yes
Pinctada imbricata radiata (rayed pearl oyster) Yes
Polyandrocarpa zorritensis Yes Brunetti and Mastrototaro, 2004
Polysiphonia brodieithis has been speculated as the means of introduction by Yes Yes Adams, 1983; Womersley, 1979
Pomacea canaliculata (golden apple snail) Yes Yes
Pomacea maculataEggs, hatchlings Yes Yes
Pontogammarus robustoides Yes Yes Arbaciauskas et al., 2011a; Kurashov and Barbashova, 2008; Panov et al., 2009
Rattus rattus (black rat) Yes
Rhithropanopeus harrisii (Harris mud crab) Yes Cohen and Carlton, 1995
Sargassum muticum (wire weed) Yes Yes
Schizoporella errata (branching bryozoan) Yes
Schizoporella japonica (orange ripple bryozoan) Yes Yes Ryland et al., 2014
Styela clava (Asian tunicate) Yes Yes
Styela plicata (pleated sea squirt) Yes Yes
Teredo navalis (naval shipworm)Adults inside wood that release larvae Yes Yes Didžiulis, 2011
Tricellaria inopinata Yes Dyrynda et al., 2000
Tridentiger trigonocephalus (chameleon goby) Yes Yes Lockett and Gomon, 2001; NIMPIS, 2014
Tubastraea coccinea (orange-cup coral) Yes Yes
Ulva pertusa Yes Yes Aguilar-Rosas et al., 2008
Ulva reticulata (ribbon sea lettuce)Attached germlings, spores, zygotes Yes Yes Piola and Conwell, 2010
Undaria pinnatifida (Asian kelp)Microscopic gametophytes Yes Forrest et al., 2000; Voisin et al., 2005

Links to Websites

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Antifouling and in-water cleaning guidelines DRAFT - New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries
Antifouling and in-water hull cleaning and maitenance DRAFT - Australian Government
Best management practices for hull maintenance at boatyards and marinas - Environment Canada
International Maritime Orgainisation Biofouling Guidelines
Maritime New Zealand - Requirements for arriving vessels