MIT Sea Grant Center for Coastal Resources

Introduced and Cryptogenic Species of the North Atlantic

Interactive Map Site
To report an invader, use the Hitchhhiker's Guide data entry form on our Marine Invader Tracking and Information System.

Rapid Assessment Surveys

In August 2000 and 2003, a team of taxonomic experts examined floating docks and piers throughout the New England coast to identify native and non-native species. This rapid assessment survey identified 34 introduced organisms, several of which were identified for the first time in this region, and 37 organisms whose native geographic distribution is unknown (referred to as cryptogenic). A report on this study is available for download (2.2MB PDF file). For more information on the Rapid Assessment Surveys, see the RAS Fact Sheet.

Carcinus maenus (green crab)
Carcinus maenus, the European Green Crab, was introduced to North America in the 1800's. This predator now ranges from Nova Scotia to Delaware.
Photo Credit: Paul Erickson

Invasive Species Maps

The maps available through the link below depict individual sightings of introduced species (non-native species) and cryptogenic species (species of unknown origin). They include data from the rapid assessment surveys discussed above, as well as from the public Hithchhikers Guide program, other research programs, and sightings by individual scientists.

Species Descriptions

Information on taxonomic grouping, common name, range, and characteristics for each organism is accessible by clicking on the scientific name above the map, or by going directly to our species description pages below.

Introduced Species descriptions.
Cryptogenic Species descriptions.

Rapid Assessment Survey Participants

The following people participated in the 2000 and/or 2003 Surveys:

Taxonomic Experts:
Robert Bullock 20002003 University of Rhode Island
Dale Calder 2000  Royal Ontario Museum
James Carlton 20002003 William College - Mystic Seaport
John Chapman 2000  Oregon State University
Andrew Cohen 2000  San Francisco Estuary Institute
Harlan Dean 2000  Harvard U., Museum of Comparative Zoology
Nicole Dobroski 20002003 Williams-Mystic Maritime Program
Peter Dyrynda 20002003 University of Wales, Swansea
Ryan Fisher  2003 Salem State College, Biology Dept.
Larry Harris 20002003 University of New Hampshire
Niels Hobbs 20002003 University of Rhode Island
Gretchen Lambert 20002003 Friday Harbor Laboratory
Charles Lambert 20002003 Friday Harbor Laboratory
Eric Laso-Wasem  2003 Yale University, Peabody Museum
Arthur Matheison 20002003 University of New Hampshire
Maria-Pia Miglietta  2003 Duke University, Biological Sciences
Judy Pederson 20002003 MIT Sea Grant College Program
Julian Smith  2003 Winthrop University
Seth Tyler 2000  University of Maine Orono
Megan Tyrell 20002003 MA Coastal Zone Management
Judith Winston 2000  Virginia Museum of Natural History
Other Participants:
Kevin Cute 2000  RI Coastal Resources Management Council
Chris Deacutis 20002003 Narragansett Bay Estuary Program
Jennifer Dijkstra  2003 University of New Hampshire
Leo McKillop  2003 University of New Hampshire
Evangelin Schwindt 2000  Argentina Port Doctoral Student
Jan Smith 20002003 Massachusetts Bays Program
Becca Toppin  2003 University of New Hampshire


Major funding for the Rapid Assessment Surveys was provided by:
NOAA National Sea Grant

For more information on this study, or questions, please contact Dr. Judith Pederson.

These pages are still under development, and not all information will be immediately available. We welcome your comments and suggestions as we continue to develop this site.


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  this page last updated on: 28 April, 2010