California Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
University of California
California Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Invasive Seaweeds and Hull Fouling Species

Mud Tube Amphipod

Scientific Name

Laticorophium baconi - Visit ITIS for full scientific classification. 

Description

 

  • Small "shrimp-like" marine invertebrate animal.
  • Body is narrow and up to 1/3 inch long.
  • Attaches to surfaces by building tiny mud tubes that it lives in. 
Habitat
  • Occurs in marine intertidal areas.
  • Attach via mud tubes to a variety of surfaces including vessel hulls in marinas. 
Invasion Pathways and Distribution
  • Spreads to new areas by attaching to vessel hulls.
  • Unknown origin.
  • Widespread throughout the Pacific ocean.
  • Also found near China, Australia, Mexico, and Tasmania. 
Life History

Unstudied.

Impacts
  • These tube-dwelling amphipods are copper tolerant, and form dense aggregations on boat hulls.
  • The muddy tubes create a non-toxic foundation for less copper tolerant fouling species to attach and live.
  • This fouling growth roughens the hull’s surface, creating friction or “drag” that slows sailboats and increases fuel consumption for powerboats.
References and Useful Links

For references by category and links to other useful AIS sites see our LEARN MORE page.

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