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)
Coptotermes gestroi (Asian subterranean termite)Alates Yes Yes
Corbicula fluminea (Asian clam)Transport of pediveliger larvae and juveniles Yes Karatayev et al. (2007)
Cordylophora (euryhaline hydroid)Assumed adult colonies Yes Yes bij et al. (2002); 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 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 hepuensis (Hepu mitten crab)Adults can be transported on ship hullsNaser et al. (2012)
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 Darrigran (2002)
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)
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) Yes Minchin and Gollasch (2008)
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