Weeds in the Waterways – Species Cards - COSEE NOW

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					     Zebra Mussels
(Dreissena polymorpha)

 Native to: the Caspian Sea region of Asia

 Invasive in: the Great Lakes, USA. They
 were first observed in Lake St. Clair near
 Detroit in 1988, and spread quickly.

 Transported by: ballast water
                                                      Zebra Mussels
                                                 (Dreissena polymorpha)
                                                 • deplete the food supply needed by larval
                                                   and juvenile fishes (this affects fisheries

Zebra mussels on a dragonhunter larva (above).   • attach themselves to native mussels,
Pipe clogged by zebra mussel growth (below).       making those mussels more vulnerable
                                                   to stress

                                                 • clog pipes

                                                 • clog cooling water inlets in boats, causing
                                                   them to overheat

                                                 • take in a lot of chemicals in the water,
                                                   which builds up in their bodies and is
                                                   transferred to any animals that eat them
   European Rabbit
(Oryctolagus cuniculus)

 Native to: the Iberian Peninsula in the

 Invasive in: Australia. They were first
 brought over in 1788, they were
 introduced to the wild in 1859, and there
 were additional introductions in the late

 Transported by: people bringing them
 over as pets
                                                                European Rabbit
                                                             (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
                                                              • compete with local fauna for food and
Phillip Island when European rabbits were abundant (above)      shelter
and after they were removed from the habitat (below).
                                                              • damage soils, causing erosion problems

                                                              • overgraze by killing mature plants and
                                                                suppressing recruitment of seedlings

                                                              • caused a decline in the bilby (Macrotis
                                                                lagotis) population

                                                              • caused the burrowing bettong (Bettongia
                                                                lesueur) to disappear in the Northern

        Burrowing                                             Control: in the early 1950s, Myxomatosis,
          Bettong                                             a fatal disease only affecting rabbits, was
                                                              introduced to Australia to help prevent the
                                                              spread of the European rabbit.
    Giant Salvinia
  (Salvinia molesta)

Native to: southeast Brazil

Invasive in: Australia, New Zealand, and
parts of America

Transported by: people bringing them
over to be used in aquariums and garden
                                                    Giant Salvinia
                                                  (Salvinia molesta)
                                                • create floating mats 10-20 cm (up to 60
                                                  cm!) thick

                                                • block sunlight to other species

                                                • clog waterways

Waterway covered in a mat of Salvinia growth.   • causes low oxygen areas once it dies
Yes, that’s a WATERway!

                                                • prevents natural gas exchange, killing
                                                  species trapped underneath

                                                • problems with flood mitigation, boating,
                                                  and irrigation

                                                Control: the weevil Cyrtobagous
                                                salviniae, one of salvinia’s natural
                                                predators from its native habitat, was
                                                introduced to keep the population in
Common Periwinkle
 (Littorina littorea)

Native to: Europe

Transported by: ballast water, 1870s
                                               Common Periwinkle
                                                (Littorina littorea)
                                               • competes with native Littorina species

                                               • reaches very high densities, making it
                                                 hard for other species to find free spaces
                                                 to occupy

                                               • allows the slow-growing algae Chondrus
                                                 crispus to dominate the algal community
                                                 by feeding on the faster-growing algal

When the periwinkle is present, the algae      • allows survival of the parasite that causes
Chondrus crispus can completely take over an     marine black spot disease, which affects
algal community.
                                                 marine fish and birds, by being the first
                                                 host for the parasite
     Green Crab
  (Carcinus maenas)

Native to: the Baltic Sea

Transported by: shipworm burrows in
ship hulls, end of the 18th century
                                                      Green Crab
                                                   (Carcinus maenas)

                                                 • competes with native crabs for resources

                                                 • voracious predator and scavenger on
                                                   many marine species

                                                 • consumes juvenile shellfish, and probably
                                                   contributed to the decline of the
                                                   softshell clam (Mya arenaria) industry in
                                                   Long Island Sound
Clam industry suffered due to the depletion of
clam stocks by green crab predation.
 Dead Man’s Fingers
  (Codium fragile)

Native to: Asia

Transported by: attached to hulls of
                                                   Dead Man’s Fingers
                                                    (Codium fragile)

                                                  • grows around oyster or scallop
                                                    and, as the plant grows, it becomes
                                                    buoyant and drifts off with the shellfish
                                                    attached; often called the “oyster thief”
                                                    or “scallop thief”

Dead man’s fingers growing on an oyster. If the
plant becomes buoyant enough, the oyster will
float away with it.
   (Pterois volitans)

Native to: Indian and Pacific Oceans

Transported by: people bringing
them over for aquariums, first observed
here in 2001
   (Pterois volitans)

• preys on native species

• has venomous spines
  MSX Oyster Disease
(Haplosporidium nelsoni)

 Native to: Asia

 Transported by: people illegally planting
 Japanese oysters in the Delaware Bay in
 1957, spread from there
  MSX Oyster Disease
(Haplosporidium nelsoni)

 • parasite that caused extensive mortality
   of Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica)
    Asian Shore Crab
(Hemigrapsus sanguineus)

  Native to: Asia

  Transported by: probably ballast, first
  observed in Cape May in 1987
                                                Asian Shore Crab
                                            (Hemigrapsus sanguineus)

Blue mussel may be consumed by the Asian      Impacts:
shore crab.                                   • may consume barnacles, clams, oysters,
                                                and mussels

                                              • competes with native species

                                              • may outcompete green crab, another
                                                invasive crab species

Green crab populations may decline due to
competition with the Asian shore crab.
 Asian Longhorned Beetle
(Anoplophora glabripennis)

   Native to: Asia

   Transported by: came in wooden
   packing material in cargo shipments from
                                                   Asian Longhorned Beetle
                                                  (Anoplophora glabripennis)

                                                    • causes death of many tree species,
                                                      especially maples (Acer spp.), poplars
                                                      (Populus spp.), birches (Betula spp.),
                                                      elms (Ulmus spp.)

Beetle exit holes (arrow E), and where eggs are
                                                    • cut down infected trees and destroy the
laid (arrow O) on a maple tree.
    Tiger Mosquito
  (Aedes albopictus)

Native to: Asia

Transported by: eggs laid in tires
                                        Tiger Mosquito
                                      (Aedes albopictus)

                                    • feeds during daytime and dusk

                                    • irritating bite

                                    • may transmit eastern equine
                                      encephalitis, a virus that can affect birds,
                                      horses, and humans

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
   Japanese Beetles
  (Popillia japonica)

Native to: Japan

Transported by: grubs in iris roots
imported from a Japanese nursery, early
                                       Japanese Beetles
                                      (Popillia japonica)

                                    • pest to about 200 plant species, including
                                    rose bushes, grapes, hops, and others

                                    • damage plants by consuming only the
                                    leaf material between the veins

Japanese beetles on a rose plant.

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