Invasion HistoryFirst Non-native North American Tidal Record: 1904
First Non-native West Coast Tidal Record: 1904
First Non-native East/Gulf Coast Tidal Record:
General Invasion History:
Iais californica was first described by Harriet Richardson in 1904, from specimens collected in Sausalito, San Francisco Bay, California, taken from the pleopods of the isopod Sphaeroma quoianum (as S. pentadon). 'Iais pubescens' from New Zealand, identified by Chilton in 1892, was eventually recognized as synonymous with I. californica, while 'S. pentadon' was synonymized with Australia-New Zealand native S. quoianum (Menzies and Barnard 1051; Hurley 1956). Bot species are now recognized as introductions to the Northeast Pacific (Rotramel 1972). Iais californica is found over most of the introduced range of S. quoianum, from Coos Bay, Oregon to San Diego Bay, California (Rotramel 1972; Iverson 1974; Carlton 1979; Cohen and Carlton 1995; Davidson 2006).
North American Invasion History:
Invasion History on the West Coast:
Iais californica was described from Sausalito, in San Francisco Bay in 1904 (Menzies and Barnard 1951; Carlton 1979), associated with the isopod Sphaeroma quoianum. It is known from the South and Central Bays, and San Pablo Bay (Richardson 1904; Menzies and Barnard 1951: Robinson et al. 2011). It was also found with S. quoianum in fouling on an obsolete cargo vessel moored in Suisun Bay (Llansó et al. 2011), and appears to share some of its host's tolerance for brackish water. The spread of I. californica has depended on the spread of its host, but reports of the commensal have matched, or lagged behind those of the host. This could reflect either slower dispersal of I. californica, or its lesser obviousness.
Iais californica is found in most of the West Coast estuaries where S. quoianum is found, although Iais californica has not been reported from Los Angeles Harbor, where S. quoianum was first reported in 1927 (Johnson and Snook 1927, cited by Carlton 1979), or from northern Yaquina Bay, Oregon (Davidson 2006), or the southern edge of S. quoianum's introduced range at Bahia San Quintin, Baja California (Menzies 1962a). Of course, I. californica could just be overlooked at these sites. Both isopods were probably transported in the fouling communities on hulls of cargo ships coming from New Zealand (Carlton 1979; Cohen and Carlton 1995).
Iais californica is a small isopod, living commensally on the pleopods of the isopod Sphaeroma quoianum, a wood-borer in marine and estuarine habitats. Iais californica has an elongated egg-shaped body, which is broadest in pereaonal segment 7 and tapered towards the head. Coxal plates are visible in dorsal view. The pleotelson is shield-shaped, with long biramous uropods protruding beyond it. The head is roughly oval, with medium-sized eyes. Antenna 1 is 1/6 the size of the body length and composed of 6 segments, while Antenna 2 is 6/10 of the body length, with a flagellum of 24 segments. In males, Pleopods 1 and 2 are modified for copulation. Pleopods 1 are fused to form a narrow appendage (the sympod), not widening near the tip and ending in a pair of rounded processes, each bearing 5 setae (Menzies and Barnard 1951, California). Pleopods 2 are not fused, but the inner ramus is modified into a needle-like stylus. The pleotelson is wider than it is long and the uropods are about half as long as the pleotelson. One male was 2.7 mm long (Menzies and Barnard 1951), and Schultz (1969) gives an average length of 1.9 mm. Description based on: Hurley 1956, Menzies and Barnard 1951, Schultz 1969, and Wilson and Wagele 1994.
Iais pubescens (s. l.) was described by Dana from Tierra del Fuego. Chilton reported this species from New Zealand in 1893, as I. pubescens var. longistylis, associated with S. quoianum, but it was later found to be identical with I. californica (Menzies and Barnard 1951; Hurley 1956).
Ianiropsis californica (Richardson, 1904)
Potentially Misidentified Species
Iais californica lives as a commensal on the pleopods of the boring/burrowing isopod Sphaeroma quoianum spp. It has separate sexes and direct development (Schultz 1969). Iais californica presumably feeds on the detritus and phytoplankton gathered by Sphaeroma quoianum’s suspension feeding (Rotramel 1975). The salinity and temperature tolerances of I. californica have not been studied experimentally, but it appears to match most or all of the environmental range of S. quoianum. It was found on the obsolete cargo ship 'Florikan', moored in Suisun Bay, with S. quoianum, in a fouling community typical of brackish water (Llansó et al. 2011).
detritus and phytoplankton
Commensal on Sphaeroma quoyanum
|General Habitat||Unstructured Bottom||None|
|General Habitat||Coarse Woody Debris||None|
|General Habitat||Marinas & Docks||None|
|General Habitat||Salt-brackish marsh||None|
|Salinity Range||Mesohaline||5-18 PSU|
|Salinity Range||Polyhaline||18-30 PSU|
|Salinity Range||Euhaline||30-40 PSU|
|Tidal Range||Low Intertidal||None|
Tolerances and Life History Parameters
|Maximum Length (mm)||2.7||None|
|Broad Temperature Range||None||Cold temperate-Warm temperate|
|Broad Salinity Range||None||Mesohaline-Euhaline|
General ImpactsNo impacts have been reported for Iais californica, although its host organism, Sphaeroma quoianum is regarded as an important ecosystem engineer in tidal marshes, and as a pest, boring and burrowing into wooden docks, earthen dikes, and plastic floats (Carlton 1979; Cohen and Carlton 1995).
Regional Distribution Map
|Bioregion||Region Name||Year||Invasion Status||Population Status|
|NEP-V||Northern California to Mid Channel Islands||1904||Def||Estab|
|NEP-VI||Pt. Conception to Southern Baja California||1957||Def||Estab|
|NEP-IV||Puget Sound to Northern California||1931||Def||Estab|
|P090||San Francisco Bay||1904||Def||Estab|
|P112||_CDA_P112 (Bodega Bay)||1972||Def||Estab|
|P020||San Diego Bay||1973||Def||Estab|
|P095||_CDA_P095 (Tomales-Drakes Bay)||1972||Def||Estab|
ReferencesBoyd, Milton J.; Mulligan, Tim J; Shaughnessy, Frank J. (2002) <missing title>, California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento. Pp. 1-118
Carlton, James T. (1979) History, biogeography, and ecology of the introduced marine and estuarine invertebrates of the Pacific Coast of North America., Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Davis. Pp. 1-904
Carlton, James T.; Iverson, Ernest W. (1981) Biogeography and natural history of Sphaeroma walkeri Stebbing (Crustacea: Isopoda) and its introduction to San Diego Bay, California, Journal of Natural History 15: 31-48
Cohen, Andrew N.; Carlton, James T. (1995) Nonindigenous aquatic species in a United States estuary: a case study of the biological invasions of the San Francisco Bay and Delta, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Sea Grant College Program (Connecticut Sea Grant), Washington DC, Silver Spring MD.. Pp. <missing location>
Davidson, Timothy M. (2006) <missing title>, University of Oregon, MS Thesis, Eugene. Pp. <missing location>
Davidson, Timothy M.; Hewitt, Chad L.; Campbell, Marnie (2008) Distribution, density, and habitat use among native and introduced populations of the Australasian burrowing isopod Sphaeroma quoianum, Biological Invasions 10: 399-410
Davidson, Timothy M.; de Rivera, Catherine E. (2010) Accelerated erosion of saltmarshes infested by the non-native burrowing crustacean Sphaeroma quoianum, Marine Ecology Progress Series 419: 129–136
Hurley, D. E. (1956) The New Zealand species of Iais (Crustacea Isopoda), Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 83(4): 715-519
Iverson, Ernest W. (1974) Range extensions for some California marine isopod crustaceans, Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 73: 164-169
Llansó, Roberto J.; Sillett, Kristine; Scott, Lisa (2011) <missing title>, Versar, Inc., Columbia MD. Pp. <missing location>
Menzies, R. J.; Barnard, J. L. (1951) The isopod genus Iais, Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 50(3): 136-151
Menzies, Robert J. (1962a) The marine isopod fauna of Bahia de San Quintin,Baja California, Mexico, Pacific Naturalist 3(11): 337-348
Poore, G. C. B.; Storey, M. (1999) Soft Sediment Crustacea of Port Phillip Bay, In: Hewitt, Campbell, Thresher & Martin(Eds.) Marine Biological Invasions of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. , Hobart, Tasmania. Pp. 150-170
Richardson, Harriet (1905) A monograph on the isopods of North America, United States National Museum Bulletin 54: 1-727
Robinson, April; Cohen, Andrew N.; Lindsey, Brie; Grenier, Letitia (2011) Distribution of macroinvertebrates across a tidal gradient, Marin County, California, San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science 9(3): published online
Rotramel, George (1972) Iais californica and Sphaeroma quoyanum, two symbiotic isopods introduced to California (Isopoda, Janiridae and Sphaeromatidae), Crustaceana Suppl. Ill: 193-197
Rotramel, George L. (1975) Observations on the commensal relations of Iais californica (Richardson, 1904) and Sphaeroma quoyanum H. Milne Edwards, 1840 (Isopoda), Crustaceana 28(3): 247-256
Talley, T. S.; Crooks, J. A.; Levin, L. A. (2001) Habitat utilization and alteration by the invasive burrowing isopod, Sphaeroma quoyanum, in California salt marshes, Marine Biology 138: 561-573
Wasson, Kerstin; Zabin, C. J.; Bedinger, L.; Diaz, M. C.; Pearse J. S. (2001) Biological invasions of estuaries without international shipping: the importance of intraregional transport, Biological Conservation 102: 143-153
Wilson, George D. F.; Wagele, Johann-Wolfgang (1994) Review of the family Ianiridae (Crustacea: Isopoda: Asellota), Invertebrate Taxonomy 8: 683-747