Detecting Invasions of Marine Organisms: Kamptozoan Case Histories

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Detecting marine invasions can be challenging, especially for lesser-known taxa, and requires (a) thorough field surveys of the region of interest for members of the taxon, (b) systematic analyses to identify all species found, (c) literature searches for the worldwide distribution of these species and for previous records of the taxon in this region, and (d) application of rigorous criteria to assess whether each species found is native or introduced. We carried out these steps in order to detect and document kamptozoan (entoproct) invasions on the American mid-Atlantic coast. We report on the occurrence of two colonial kamptozoans (Barentsia benedeni, Loxosomatoides laevis) in Chesapeake Bay (Maryland and Virginia, USA). On the American Atlantic coast, B. benedeni had previously only been reported from Massachusetts, although this species has a worldwide distribution in bays and harbors. The genus Loxosomatoides had not previously been reported from North America and L. laevis was known only from India. Since the genus Loxosomatoides was very poorly characterized, we briefly review all four of its species, which differ only slightly from each other. We have also synonymized L. japonicum with L. laevis. We did not find any of the kamptozoan species previously recorded in surveys of Chesapeake Bay and the American Atlantic coast. This is the first detailed consideration of anthropogenic influences on kamptozoan distributions, and we emphasize that most kamptozoan species are cryptogenic pending further investigation.

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