MIT Sea Grant Center for Coastal Resources

Hitchhikers Gallery of Exotic Species

This page shows several of the species that you may find as you explore the coast with the Hitchhikers Guide to Exotic Species.
The guide itself contains information on many more species.

Didemnum sp. Didemnum sp. (photo: J.Pederson) The "mystery" tunicate (Didemnum sp.) has been found in Japan, New Zealand and the West Coast. It looks like a sponge and grows on hard surfaces such as pilings, floating docks, and rocky ledges. It can grow to a couple feet long, and has recently been found from New Hampshire to Connecticut.
The sea squirt (Diplosoma listerianum) may look like a gray fungus growing over other animals, on pilings, on floating docks, and on hard surfaces under the water. Diplosoma Listeranum
Sagarita Elegans The purple sea anemone (Sagartia elegans) has been found only on the North shore. It is small and attached to hard surfaces below the water.
The European oyster (Ostrea edulis) is an introduced escapee from an aquaculture industry and can be found in shallow water areas attached to hard surfaces. Shells may be found on the beach. Ostrea edulis
Hemigrapsus sanguineus The Asian shore crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) is found under rocks from mid- to low tide on gravelly and rocky beaches.
The barnacle on the left is the native barnacle (Semibalanus balanoides), the one on the right is a New Zealand species (Elminius modestus) introduced to Europe and may arrive here. barnacles

Return to the Hitchhikers Guide to Exotic Species page.


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  this page last updated on: 2 June, 2005