Invasion History

First Non-native North American Tidal Record: 1986
First Non-native West Coast Tidal Record: 1994
First Non-native East/Gulf Coast Tidal Record: 1986

General Invasion History:

The colonial tunicate Polyandrocarpa zorritensis was described from Zorritos, Peru in 1931 (Van Name 1945) in n the southeastern Pacific. The next published collections were from the southeastern Atlantic, in Brazil, at Santos and Itacurussa (near Cananeia) (Millar 1958). The native region of this tunicate could be either the Southwest Atlantic or Southeast Pacific. However, this tunicate has become widely introduced, being found on the East and West coasts of North America, Hawaii, Japan, and the Mediterranean. In the Mediterranean, and possibly elsewhere, its growth seems to be favored by eutrophication (Brunetti and Mastrototaro 2004).

North American Invasion History:

Invasion History on the West Coast:

Polyandrocarpa zorritensis was first collected in Southern California at Oceanside Harbor in September, 1994, where it was abundant. During that same year, it was also found in Mission and San Diego Bays, but was rare (Lambert and Lambert 1998). In 1997, it was found in Alamitos Bay, Long Beach Harbor, and at King Harbor and Marina del Rey in Santa Monica (Lambert and Lambert 2003). In 2001, P. zorritensis was found on fouling plates in San Francisco Bay at two locations: Jack London Square, Oakland in the Central Bay, and in Redwood City in the South Bay (Ruiz et al. unpublished data). In 2001, it was also collected in Tomales Bay (Fairey et al. 2002). Polyandrocarpa zorritensis was found in Ensenada, Mexico, in 2000 (Lambert and Lambert 2003), and Bahia San Quintin, Baja California in 2005 (Rodriguez and Ibarra-Obando 2008).

Invasion History on the East Coast:

The date of arrival of Polyandrocarpa zorritensis on the East Coast is not known, but it was well-established in the Indian River Lagoon, near Fort Pierce, Florida by 1994 (Vazquez and Young 1996; Vazquez and Young 1998, Gretchen Lambert, personal communication). In 2005, it was found at Cape Marina, in Cape Canaveral, Florida (da Rocha, personal communication, Ruiz et al., unpublished data). In 2014, P. zorritensis was found in three marinas in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina (Villalobos et al. 2017).

Invasion History on the Gulf Coast:

Polyandrocarpa zorritensis was reported from Clearwater Harbor, Florida, south of Tampa Bay in 2002 (Grechen Lambert, personal communication 2002), and from Port Isabel, Texas in 2004 (Lambert et al. 2005).

Invasion History in Hawaii:

In 1997, Polyandrocarpa zorritensis was found at several locations in Oahu, Hawaii, in Pearl Harbor (in 1997, Coles et al.1999a), Ke'ehi Lagoon, Honolulu (in 1997, Coles et al.1999b), and in Kaneohe Bay (in 1997, Coles et al. 2002). 

Invasion History Elsewhere in the World:

In 1991, the tunicate was found in southern Japan, at Kitakyushu, Kyushu, on the East China Sea, and at Kochi, on Shikoku (Nishikawa et al. 1993, cited by Iwasaki (2006). Polyandrocarpa zorritensis has also invaded the western Mediterranean Sea. In 1975, it was detected in the harbor of La Spezia, Italy, on the Tyrrhenian Sea (Brunetti 1978). In 2001, it was found in the Gulf of Taranto, near the tip of the Italian Peninsula (2001, Brunetti and Mastrototaro 2004). In Spanish waters, P. zorritensis has been found in the delta of the Ebro River (Turon and Perrera 1998). 


Description

Polyandrocarpa zorritensis is a colonial tunicate, whose colonies consist of a crowded mass or cluster of club-shaped zooids. The zooids are connected at the base of the colony by a tangled mass of root-like stolons. Individual zooids have an oval cross-section (meaning they are slightly compressed from side to side; Van Name 1945) and are free at their anterior end. The anterior end is rounded or truncated, and the oral and atrial siphons have four lobes, with two dark bands per lobe (Brunetti and Mastrototaro, 2004). Each zooid has its own tunic, though tunics of adjacent individuals may adhere to each other. The tunics are thin, tough and can be densely encrusted with sand. Zooids are pale brown to yellowish green in color (Lambert and Lambert 1998) and are up to 20 mm long and 3.8 mm diameter (Van Name 1945).


Taxonomy

Taxonomic Tree

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Chordata
Subphylum:   Tunicata
Class:   Ascidiacea
Order:   Stolidobranchia
Family:   Styelidae
Genus:   Polyandrocarpa
Species:   zorritensis

Synonyms

Stolonica zorritensis (Van Name, 1931)

Potentially Misidentified Species

Ecology

General:

Life History- A colonial (or compound) tunicate consists of many zooids, bearing many or all of the organs of a solitary tunicate, but modified to varying degrees for colonial life. Colonial tunicates of the genus Polyandrocarpa have zooids resembling solitary tunicates, rounded, oval, or club-like in shape. Zooids can be crowded together, but do not coalesce. Each zooid has an oral and atrial siphon. Water is pumped into the oral siphon, through finely meshed ciliated gills on the pharynx, where phytoplankton and detritus are filtered, and passed on mucus strings to the stomach and intestines. Excess waste is expelled in the outgoing atrial water (Van Name 1945; Barnes 1983). 
 
Colonial tunicates reproduce both asexually, by budding, and sexually, from fertilized eggs developing into larvae. Colonies vary in size and can range from small clusters of zooids to huge spreading masses. The zooids are hermaphroditic, with eggs and sperm being produced by a single individual. Eggs may be self-fertilized or fertilized by sperm from nearby animals, but many species have a partial block to self-fertilization. Depending on the life-history of the species, eggs may be externally or internally fertilized. Fertilized eggs hatch into a tadpole larva with a muscular tail, notochord, eyespots, and a set of adhesive papillae. The lecithotrophic (non-feeding, yolk-dependent) larva swims briefly before settlement. Swimming periods are usually less than a day, and some larvae can settle immediately after release, but the larval period can be longer at lower temperatures. Once settled, the tail is absorbed, the gill basket expands, and the tunicate begins to feed by filtering (Van Name 1945; Barnes 1983). 

Food:

Phytoplankton, detritus

Trophic Status:

Suspension Feeder

SusFed

Habitats

General HabitatMarinas & DocksNone
General HabitatVessel HullNone
General HabitatMangrovesNone
Salinity RangePolyhaline18-30 PSU
Salinity RangeEuhaline30-40 PSU
Tidal RangeSubtidalNone
Vertical HabitatEpibenthicNone

Life History


Tolerances and Life History Parameters

Minimum Temperature (ºC)12Field, Mediterranean Sea (Brunetti, pers. comm., cited by Lambert and Lambert 1998)
Maximum Temperature (ºC)30Field, Mediterranean Sea (Brunetti, pers. comm., cited by Lambert and Lambert 1998)
Minimum Salinity (‰)22.7Field, Mediterranean Sea (Brunetti, pers. comm., cited by Lambert and Lambert 1998)
Maximum Salinity (‰)38Field, Mediterranean Sea (Brunetti, pers. comm., cited by Lambert and Lambert 1998)
Minimum Reproductive Salinity26Salinities below 26 PSU halted the swimming of larvae (Vazquez and Young 1998)
Maximum Duration0.2Larvae, Laboratory observations (Vazquez and Young 1998)
Broad Temperature RangeNoneWarm temperate-Tropical
Broad Salinity RangeNonePolyhaline-Euhaline

General Impacts

Economic Impacts-

Polyandrocarpa zorritensis was reported to overgrow cultured oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in the Ebro Delta, Spain (Perrera et al. 1990, cited by da Rocha et al. 2009).

Ecological impacts-

Polyandrocarpa zorritensis formed 100% cover in several locations in San Diego and Mission Bays in 1994-2000, suggesting it is capable of outcompeting native and other introduced fouling species (Lambert and Lambert 2003).


Regional Impacts

MED-IINoneEcological ImpactCompetition
Polyandrocarpa zorritensis was reported to overgrow cultured oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in the Ebro Delta, Spain (Perrera et al. 1990, cited by da Rocha et al. 2009).
MED-IINoneEconomic ImpactFisheries
Polyandrocarpa zorritensis was reported to overgrow cultured oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in the Ebro Delta, Spain (Perrera et al. 1990, cited by da Rocha et al. 2009).
NEP-VIPt. Conception to Southern Baja CaliforniaEcological ImpactCompetition
Polyandrocarpa zorritensis formed 100% cover in several locations in San Diego and Mission Bays in 1994-2000, suggestive of competition (Lambert and Lambert 2003).
P020San Diego BayEcological ImpactCompetition
Polyandrocarpa zorritensis formed 100% cover in several locations in San Diego and Mission Bays in 1994-2000, suggestive of competition (Lambert and Lambert 2003).
P030Mission BayEcological ImpactCompetition
Polyandrocarpa zorritensis formed 100% cover in several locations in San Diego and Mission Bays in 1994-2000, suggestive of competition (Lambert and Lambert 2003).

Regional Distribution Map

Bioregion Region Name Year Invasion Status Population Status
SEP-C None 1931 Crypto Estab
CAR-I Northern Yucatan, Gulf of Mexico, Florida Straits, to Middle Eastern Florida 1986 Def Estab
NEP-VI Pt. Conception to Southern Baja California 1994 Def Estab
MED-III None 1975 Def Estab
SP-XXI None 1997 Def Estab
MED-II None 1988 Def Estab
NEP-V Northern California to Mid Channel Islands 2000 Def Estab
NWP-3b None 1991 Def Estab
SA-II None 1958 Crypto Estab
MED-IV None 2001 Def Estab
P020 San Diego Bay 1994 Def Estab
P050 San Pedro Bay 1997 Def Estab
S190 Indian River 1986 Def Estab
P030 Mission Bay 1994 Def Estab
P023 _CDA_P023 (San Louis Rey-Escondido) 1994 Def Estab
P060 Santa Monica Bay 1997 Def Estab
P090 San Francisco Bay 2001 Def Estab
G330 Lower Laguna Madre 2004 Def Estab
G074 _CDA_G074 (Crystal-Pithlachascotee) 2002 Def Estab
NWP-3a None 1991 Def Estab
P110 Tomales Bay 2001 Def Estab
SEP-H None 2008 Crypto Estab
NWP-4a None 0 Def Estab
NEP-VIII None 2009 Def Estab
P027 _CDA_P027 (Aliso-San Onofre) 2011 Def Estab
MED-VII None 2015 Def Estab
PAN_PAC Panama Pacific Coast 2008 Crypto Estab
CAR-VII Cape Hatteras to Mid-East Florida 2014 Def Estab
S040 New River 2014 Def Estab
WA-IV None 2010 Def Estab
CIO-II None 2014 Def Unk
WA-I None 2014 Def Estab
SEP-Z None 2015 Def Estab
P062 _CDA_P062 (Calleguas) 2013 Def Estab
P040 Newport Bay 2017 Crypto Estab
CAR-IV None 2019 Def Estab

Occurrence Map

OCC_ID Author Year Date Locality Status Latitude Longitude
767428 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-19 SeaWorld Marina, Mission Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7676 -117.2314
767483 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-04 Bahia Resort Marina, Mission Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7731 -117.2478
767498 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-31 Campland on the Bay, Mission Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7936 -117.2234
767514 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-01 Hyatt Resort Marina, Mission Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7634 -117.2397
767529 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-03 Mission Bay Sport Center, Mission Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7857 -117.2495
767542 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-30 Hilton Resort Docks, Mission Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7791 -117.2128
767569 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-05 Paradise Point Resort, Mission Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7730 -117.2406
767684 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-17 Naval Station San Diego, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.6867 -117.1333
767698 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-24 NAB ACU-1 Docks, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.6786 -117.1615
767710 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-25 Navy Ammo Dock, Pier Bravo, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.6939 -117.2276
767721 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-21 Cabrillo Isle Marina, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7272 -117.1995
767734 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-22 Coronado Cays Marina, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.6257 -117.1309
767751 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-18 NAB Fiddlers Cove, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.6524 -117.1486
767769 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-26 Pier 32 Marina, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.6516 -117.1077
767776 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-20 Chula Vista Marina, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.6252 -117.1036
767791 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-28 Marriott Marquis and Marina, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7059 -117.1655

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