Invasion History

First Non-native North American Tidal Record: 1969
First Non-native West Coast Tidal Record: 1969
First Non-native East/Gulf Coast Tidal Record:

General Invasion History:

Theora lubrica is a small infaunal bivalve native to the Northwest Pacific, from northern Japan and the Vladivostok area, Russia, south to the Hong Kong region (Huang 2001; Lutaenko et al. 2006; Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 2006-2013). It has been introduced to Southern California and San Francisco Bay (Seapy 1974; Cohen and Carlton 1995), southern Australia (Boyd 1999), New Zealand (Cranfield et al. 1998), the Mediterranean Sea (Bogi and Galil 2007), and the Bay of Biscay coast of Spain (Adarraga and Martinez 2011). Ballast water appears to be the primary vector of transport.

North American Invasion History:

Invasion History on the West Coast:

Theora lubrica was first discovered in Anaheim Bay, California in 1968-1969 (Hardy 1970, cited by Seapy 1974, as T. fragilis). Subsequently, it was found in Newport Harbor in 1971, Los Angeles Harbor in 1973 (Seapy 1974), and Mission Bay in 1978 (Crooks 1998). In 1998 and 2001 surveys, T. lubrica was found in many more Southern California harbors and bays (Channel Islands Harbor, Port Hueneme, Marina del Rey, Long Beach Harbor, Dana Point Harbor, and San Diego Bay) (Fairey et al. 2002; Ranasinghe et al. 2005). In the 1998 survey, T. lubrica ranked first or second in abundance among the benthic bivalves (Ranasinghe et al. 2005). In 1982, it was first collected in San Francisco Bay at Islais Creek and has been collected throughout the Bay, sometimes abundantly, as at Point Pinole and the Alameda Air Station. However, it is absent in the low-salinity parts of the estuary, such as Suisun Bay (Cohen and Carlton 1995). In 2001, it was found to be common in Tomales Bay (Fairey et al. 2002).

Invasion History Elsewhere in the World:

In the Southwest Pacific, T. lubrica was first reported in Port Phillip Bay, Australia in 1958, where it was already present in large numbers. It is present in Sydney Harbour, Botany Bay, and Georges Bay in Tasmania (Boyd 1999; Edgar et al. 1999; Australian Museum Business Services 2002). In 1970, it was found in Perth, Western Australia in the Swan Estuary (Chalmer et al. 1976, cited by Boyd 1999). Theora lubrica was discovered in New Zealand in 1971 and is found in ports on the North and South Islands. Hayward (1997) described it as living in 'billions' in Waitemata Harbour, where it was one of the few animals which tolerated the polluted sediments.

In the Mediterranean, T. lubrica was first reported from Livorno (Leghorn), Italy in 2001, where it is established (Balena et al. 2002, cited by Crocetta 2012). In 2006, this bivalve was discovered in Haifa, Israel, more than 2000 km to the east (Galil and Bogi 2007). The first record in the Atlantic occurred in 2010, when T. lubrica was found in the ports of Bilbao and Molinaro, on the Bay of Biscay in Spain. It is common here, ranking 3rd to 8th in abundance in macrobenthic samples (Adarraga and Martinez 2011).


Description

Theora lubrica is a small bivalve with a semi-transparent, elongate elliptical shell. The shell is brittle, smooth, whitish, and has a smooth, shiny periostracum. The exterior of the shell bears fine, concentric lines. The valves are equal, with the umbos located in the mid-line of the shell. The valves gape slightly at the anterior and posterior ends. The most prominent feature of the hinge is the spoon-shaped chondropore, to which is attached an internal ligament (resilium). The external ligament is a brown, arched band. The hinge teeth are small. The right valve has two small projecting cardinal teeth and single anterior and posterior laterals, while the left valve has one cardinal tooth and single anterior and posterior laterals. The shell has a prominent internal rib, which extends obliquely across the shell, anterior to the umbo. The pallial sinus is deep, with the lower border merging with the pallial line. Theora lubrica reaches up to 16 mm length. Description from: Seapy 1974; Boyd 1999; Coan et al. 2000; Coan and Valentich-Scott, in Carlton 2007; Adarraga and Martinez 2011.


Taxonomy

Taxonomic Tree

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Mollusca
Class:   Bivalvia
Subclass:   Heterodonta
Order:   Veneroida
Superfamily:   Tellinoidea
Family:   Semelidae
Genus:   Theora
Species:   lubrica

Synonyms

Potentially Misidentified Species

Macoma acolasta
Native East Pacific bivalve, similar shape, but umbo more posterior.

Theora fragilis
Theora fragilis (Adams 1961) described from Queensland, Australia, is not synonymous with T. lubrica (Boyd 1999).

Ecology

General:

Theora lubrica (Asian Semele) is a small infaunal bivalve, typically occurring in soft, muddy subtidal or lower intertidal sediments, rich in organic matter (Seapy 1974; Hayward 1997; Boyd 1999; Johnston 2005). Sexes are separate, and growth is rapid. Individuals can mature in 1-3 months, at about 4-7 mm (Saito et al. 1998; Johnston 2005). Larvae are planktotrophic, and spend about 13 days in the plankton at 24°C (Tomai 1996). Larvae settle at about 100-245 µm (Saito et al. 1998).

Theora lubrica is regarded as a pollution-indicator species in Japan, because of its tolerance to hypoxia and its association with organic-rich sediments, as a feeder on benthic microalgae and detritus (Tamai 1996; Saito et al. 1998; Yokoyama and Ishihi 2003). In nutrient-rich muddy habitats, it can reach very high densities (Seapy 1974; Saito et al. 1998; Johnston 2005; Ranasinghe et al. 2008). We have not found specific information on salinity tolerance, but the reported habitats appear to have salinities in the euhaline (30-40 PSU) and part of the polyhaline range (18-30 PSU) (Seapy 1974; Cohen and Carlton 1995; Boyd 1999; Saito et al. 1998; Johnston 2005).

Food:

Detritus, benthic diatoms

Trophic Status:

Deposit Feeder

DepFed

Habitats

General HabitatUnstructured BottomNone
Salinity RangePolyhaline18-30 PSU
Salinity RangeEuhaline30-40 PSU
Tidal RangeSubtidalNone
Tidal RangeLow IntertidalNone
Vertical HabitatEndobenthicNone


Tolerances and Life History Parameters

Minimum Temperature (ºC)9Imabayashi and Tsukuda, 1984, cited by NIMPIS 2013
Maximum Temperature (ºC)27Boyd 1999
Minimum Salinity (‰)28Inglis et al. 2006, New Zealand
Maximum Salinity (‰)35Inglis et al. 2006, New Zealand
Minimum Dissolved Oxygen (mg/l)NoneNone
Maximum Duration1323-24 C, to 'full-grown' larvae (Tamai 1996)
Minimum Length (mm)4Sexual maturity occurs at 4-7 mm (Saito et al. 1998; Johnston 2005).
Maximum Length (mm)15Boyd 1999
Broad Temperature RangeNoneCold temperate-Warm temperate
Broad Salinity RangeNonePolyhaline-Euhaline

General Impacts

Theora lubrica is a small, fast-growing deposit-feeding bivalve, with a high tolerance for hypoxia and organic-rich sediments. It is considered a pollution-indicator species, because of its frequent dominance in highly polluted sediments (Boyd 1999; Saito et al. 1998; Johnston 2005). However, its ecological impacts are not clear, because it is an opportunistic colonizer of highly disturbed environments, where much of the native fauna has been extirpated (Hayward 1997; Boyd 1999; Johnston 2005).

Regional Distribution Map

Bioregion Region Name Year Invasion Status Population Status
NWP-4b None 0 Native Estab
NWP-4a None 0 Native Estab
NWP-3b None 0 Native Estab
NWP-3a None 0 Native Estab
NEP-V Northern California to Mid Channel Islands 1982 Def Estab
NEP-VI Pt. Conception to Southern Baja California 1969 Def Estab
NZ-IV None 1971 Def Estab
AUS-VIII None 1958 Def Estab
AUS-X None 1976 Def Estab
AUS-VII None 1999 Def Unk
AUS-IV None 1970 Def Estab
MED-III None 2001 Def Estab
P050 San Pedro Bay 1969 Def Estab
P020 San Diego Bay 1998 Def Estab
MED-V None 2006 Def Estab
NWP-2 None 0 Native Estab
P030 Mission Bay 1978 Def Estab
P027 _CDA_P027 (Aliso-San Onofre) 1998 Def Estab
P040 Newport Bay 1971 Def Estab
P060 Santa Monica Bay 1998 Def Estab
P062 _CDA_P062 (Calleguas) 1998 Def Estab
P090 San Francisco Bay 1982 Def Estab
P110 Tomales Bay 2001 Def Estab
NZ-II None 0 Def Estab
AUS-IX None 1997 Def Estab
P093 _CDA_P093 (San Pablo Bay) 1982 Def Estab
NEA-V None 2010 Def Estab

Occurrence Map

OCC_ID Author Year Date Locality Status Latitude Longitude
27443 Foss 2011 2010 2010-06-02 Port of Oakland Office Def 37.7954 -122.2804
27445 Foss 2009 2005 2005-06-07 Port of Oakland Office Def 37.7954 -122.2804
27608 Foss 2009 2005 2005-09-09 San Mateo Bridge Def 37.5806 -122.2543
27609 Foss 2011 2010 2010-07-29 San Mateo Bridge Def 37.5806 -122.2543
27646 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-05-04 Hilton Resort Dock Def 32.7788 -117.2127
27987 Foss 2009 2005 2005-10-06 Santa Fe Channel - Front Def 37.9101 -122.3644
28022 Foss 2011 2010 2010-07-14 Romberg Tiburon Center Def 37.8906 -122.4458
28534 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-04-07 CIYC Guest Slip Def 34.1641 -119.2255
28771 Foss 2009 2005 2005-06-07 Oakland Inner Harbor - Shipping cranes Def 37.7947 -122.3095
28796 Fairey et al. 2002 2000 2000-09-14 Port Hueneme Infaunal 21 Def 34.1468 -119.2121
28814 Foss 2009 2005 2005-10-20 San Pablo Bay Pumphouse Def 38.0446 -122.4326
28846 Foss 2011 2010 2010-07-12 Saint Francis Yacht Harbor Def 37.8066 -122.4463
28854 Foss 2009 2005 2005-09-08 Saint Francis Yacht Harbor Def 37.8066 -122.4463
29147 Foss 2009 2005 2005-09-08 Pier 45 Def 37.8111 -122.4196
29216 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-05-04 Seaforth Def 32.7621 -117.2365
29364 Foss 2009 2005 2005-09-07 Redwood Creek - Marina Def 37.5021 -122.2130
29393 Introduced Species Study 2003 2003-08-26 Berkeley Harbor Def 37.8666 -122.3176
29463 Fairey et al. 2002 2000 2000-09-14 Port Hueneme Infaunal 25 Def 34.1482 -119.2038
29516 Foss 2009 2005 2005-09-08 Cruise Ship Pier Def 37.8085 -122.4060
29561 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-04-08 Wharf 4 Def 34.1500 -119.2100
29940 Foss 2009 2005 2005-09-09 Coyote Point Marina Def 37.5905 -122.3177
30056 Introduced Species Study 2003 2003-08-26 Berkeley Harbor2 Def 37.8672 -122.3157
30068 Seapy 1974 1973 1973-01-01 Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Complex Def 33.7632 -118.2526
30075 Los Angeles/Long Beach Baseline Study (2000) 2000 2000-01-01 Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Complex Def 33.7632 -118.2526
30166 Seapy 1974; Carlton 1979 1973 1973-01-01 Newport Bay Def 33.6092 -117.9067
30586 Cohen and Carlton, 1995 1982 1982-01-01 Islais Creek Channel, San Francisco Bay Def 37.7474 -122.3877
30779 Foss 2011 2010 2010-06-28 Santa Fe Channel - Back Def 37.9207 -122.3684
31291 Introduced Species Study 2003 2003-08-26 Berkeley Harbor Def 37.8654 -122.3124
31316 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-05-05 Ocean Institute Dock Def 33.4622 -117.7063
31351 Hardy 1970, cited by Seapy 1974, Carlton 1979 1969 1969-01-01 Anaheim Bay Def 33.7333 -118.0894
31379 Fairey et al. 2002 2001 2001-09-19 Tomales Bay Infaunal 04 Def 38.1444 -122.9006
31424 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2011 2011 2011-05-03 Americas Cup Harbor Def 32.7239 -117.2240
31434 Federal Introduced Species 2005 2005-06-29 Americas Cup Harbor Def 32.7239 -117.2240
31577 Foss 2009 2005 2005-06-08 Oakland Outer Harbor Def 37.8217 -122.3145
31642 Foss 2009 2005 2005-08-25 Central Basin Def 37.7643 -122.3863
31659 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-04-20 Loading Dock at Bumper Pad #51 Def 33.7410 -118.2746
31713 Foss 2009 2005 2005-10-21 Ayala Cove Def 37.8680 -122.4350
31892 Fairey et al. 2002 2001 2001-09-19 Tomales Bay Infaunal 05 Def 38.1140 -122.8557
32066 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2010 2010-07-12 Potrero Point Def 37.7521 -122.3790
32180 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-04-20 LA/Long Beach Coast Guard Pier Def 33.7233 -118.2685
32424 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-05-03 San Diego Bay Cruise Ship Terminal Def 32.7168 -117.1759
32886 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-04-19 Balboa Coves Def 33.6213 -117.9364
32984 Fairey et al. 2002 2000 2000-09-13 Port Hueneme Infaunal 10 Def 34.1506 -119.2068
33016 Federal Introduced Species 2005 2005-06-28 Scripps Pier, La Jolla Def 32.7078 -117.2368
33095 Cohen and Carlton, 1995 1993 1993-01-01 Alameda Air Station Def 37.7902 -122.3252
33155 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-04-20 Fuel Depot Def 33.7440 -118.2358
33197 Cohen and Carlton, 1995 1991 1991-01-01 San Pablo Bay - Point Pinole Def 38.0133 -122.3659
33237 Foss 2011 2010 2010-06-30 Rodeo Marina Def 38.0394 -122.2717
33339 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-04-20 Slip D-50 Def 33.7165 -118.2801
33443 Foss 2009 2005 2005-10-05 Coast Guard Island Def 37.7812 -122.2457
33506 Foss 2009 2005 2005-10-06 Chevron Pier, Richmond Def 37.9228 -122.4105
33552 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-04-19 Pump-A-Head Dock Def 33.7026 -118.0542
33654 California Department of Fish and Wildlife 2014 2011 2011-04-21 Super Mexico Pier Def 33.7708 -118.2113

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