Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 499–510 | Cite as

Caprella scaura Templeton, 1836: an invasive caprellid new to the Azores archipelago

Original Paper


The present study reports for the first time the occurrence of Caprella scaura in the remote oceanic islands of the Azores archipelago. Caprella scaura is a widespread caprellid with an invasive potential and a complicated taxonomy due to the existence of individuals that vary morphologically between and within regions. Caprella scaura specimens collected in this study were assigned to subspecies C. s. scaura and C. s. typica, supporting already published evidence that these two names should be synonymized into a single subspecies. Previous C. scaura records were also analyzed in order to provide a more updated insight on current C. s. scaura distribution. The year-round presence of a breeding population in the Ponta Delgada marina suggests that C. scaura is locally well-established. Recent C. scaura presence in a marina and its association with non-native fouling bryozoans suggest that the most probable introduction vector in the Azores is through hull fouling.


First record Fouling communities Non-indigenous species Oceanic islands 



The authors are grateful to Marta Canto for the initial sample sorting and to Dr. Ian Dodkins for a first revision of the English text. We thank Nuno Barata from “Portos dos Açores” for allowing the development of the work within the Ponta Delgada Marina. This project was funded by the Direcção Regional de Ciência e Tecnologia (DRCT)—‘Açores: Stopover for Marine Alien Species?’ – ASMAS – M2.1.2/I/032/2011.


  1. Arimoto I (1976) Taxonomic studies of caprellids (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Caprellidae) found in the Japanese and adjacent waters. Spec Publ Seto Mar Biol Lab Series III:1–229Google Scholar
  2. Arimoto I (1980) Supplements to the Japanese caprellid fauna. I. Caprellids from the Korean Straits and adjacent waters. Publ Seto Mar Biol Lab 25(1/4):95–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashton GV, Boos K, Shucksmith R, Cook EJ (2006) Risk assessment of hull fouling as a vector for marine nonnatives in Scotland. Aquat Invasions 1:214–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Astudillo JC, Bravo M, Dumont CP, Thiel M (2009) Detached aquaculture buoys in the SE Pacific: potential dispersal vehicles for associated organisms. Aquat Biol 5:219–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bamber RN, Robbins R (2009) The soft sediment infauna off São Miguel, Azores, and a comparison with other Azorean invertebrate habitats. Açoreana S6:201–210Google Scholar
  6. Barnard KH (1925) Report on a collection of Crustacea from Portuguese South Africa. Ann South African Museum 20(5):371–372Google Scholar
  7. Barrois T (1888) Catalogue des Crustacés Marins. Recueillis aux Açores, Le Bigot, Frères, LilleGoogle Scholar
  8. Cabezas MP, Xavier R, Branco M, Santos AM, Guerra-García JM (2014) Invasion history of Caprella scaura Templeton, 1836 (Amphipoda: Caprellidae) in the Iberian Peninsula: Multiple introductions revealed by mitochondrial sequence data. Biol Invasions 16(10):2221–2245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Caine EA (1978) Habitat adaptations of North American caprellid Amphipoda (Crustacea). Biol Bull 155:288–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carlton JT, Eldredge LG (2009) Marine bioinvasions of Hawaii: the introduced and cryptogenic marine and estuarine animals and plants of the Hawaiian archipelago. Bishop Museum Press, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  11. Chainho P, Fernandes A, Amorim A, Avila SP, Canning-Clode J, Castro JJ, Costa AC, Costa JL, Cruz T, Gollasch S, Grazziotin-Soares C, Melo R, Micael J, Parente MI, Semedo J, Silva T, Sobral D, Sousa M, Torres P, Veloso V, Costa MJ (2015) Non-indigenous species in Portuguese coastal areas, coastal lagoons, estuaries and islands. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 167(Part A):199–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chevreux E (1900) Amphipodes provenant des campagnes de L’Hirondelle (1885–1888). B Soc Zool Fr 16:1–196Google Scholar
  13. Chevreux E (1935) Amphipodes provenant des campagnes scientifiques par Albert Ier Prince Souve’rain de Monaco. Rés Camp Scient Albert Ier 90:1–208Google Scholar
  14. Cohen AN, Harris LH, Bingham BL, Carlton JT, Chapman W, Lambert CC, Lambert G, Ljubenkov JC, Murray SN, Rao LC, Reardon K, Schwindt E (2005) Rapid assessment survey for exotic organisms in southern California bays and harbours, and abundance in port and non-port areas. Biol Invasions 7:995–1002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dana JD (1853) Crustacea, part II. U S E E 14:689–1618Google Scholar
  16. Edmonson CH, Mansfield GS (1948) Hawaiian Caprellidae. Occas Pap Bernice P Bishop Mus 19:201–218Google Scholar
  17. Fernandez-Gonzalez V, Sanchez-Jerez P (2014) First occurrence of Caprella scaura Templeton, 1836 (Crustacea: Amphipoda) on off-coast fish farm cages in the Mediterranean Sea. Helgoland Mar Res 68(1):187–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Foster JM, Heard RW, Knott DM (2004) Northern range extensions from Caprella scaura Templeton, 1836 (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Caprellidae) on the Florida Gulf Coast and in South Carolina. Gulf Caribb Res 16:65–69Google Scholar
  19. Frey MA, Gartner HN, Murray C, Therriault TW (2009) First confirmed records of the non-native amphipod Caprella mutica (Schurin 1935) along the coast of British Columbia, Canada, and the potential for secondary spread via hull fouling. Aquat Invasions 4:495–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Galil BS, Marchini A, Occhipinti-Ambrogi A, Minchin D, NarŠcius A, Ojaveer H, Olenin S (2014) International arrivals: widespread bioinvasions in European seas. Ethol Ecol Evol 26(2–3):152–171CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Guerra-García JM (2003) The Caprellidea (Crustacea: Amphipoda) from Mauritius Island, Western Indian Ocean. Zootaxa 232:1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Guerra-García JM (2004) The Caprellidea (Crustacea, Amphipoda) from Western Australia and Northern Territory, Australia. Hydrobiologia 522(1–3):1–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Guerra-García JM, Takeuchi I (2003) The Caprellidea (Malacostraca: Amphipoda) from Mirs Bay, Hong Kong, with the description of a new genus and two new species. J Crustacean Biol 23:154–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Guerra-García JM, Takeuchi I (2004) The Caprellidea (Crustacea: Amphipoda) from Tasmania. J Nat Hist 38:967–1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Guerra-García JM, Thiel M (2001) The caprellid fauna (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Caprellidea) from the coast of Coquimbo, Northern-central Chile, with a taxonomic key for species identification. Rev Chil Hist Nat 74(4):873–883CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Guerra-García JM, Corzo J, García-Gómez JC (2002) Clinging behaviour of the Caprellidea (Amphipoda) from the Strait of Gibraltar. Crustaceana 75:41–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Guerra-García JM, Ros M, Dugo-Cota A, Burgos V, Flores-León AM, Baeza-Rojano E, Cabezas MP, Núñez J (2011) Geographical expansion of the invader Caprella scaura (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Caprellidae) to the East Atlantic coast. Mar Biol 158:2617–2622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Krapp T, Lang C, Libertini A, Melzer RR (2006) Caprella scaura Templeton, 1836 sensu lato (Amphipoda: Caprellidae) in the Mediterranean. Org Divers Evol 6:77–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Laubitz DR (1991) Crustacea Amphipoda Caprellidea: caprellids from the western Pacific (New Caledonia, Indonesia and the Philippines). In: Crosnier A (ed) Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM. Memoires du museum national d’histoire naturelle, Paris, pp 101–123Google Scholar
  30. Lim STA, Alexander CG (1986) Reproductive behaviour of the caprellid amphipod, Caprella scaura typica, Mayer 1890. Mar Freshwater Behav Physiol 12(3):217–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lopes MFR, Marques JC, Bellan-Santini D (1993) The benthic amphipod fauna of the Azores (Portugal): an up-to-date annotated list of species, and some biogeographic considerations. Crustaceana 65(2):204–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Marchini A, Ferrario J, Michin D (2015) Marinas may act as hubs for the spread of the pseudo-indigenous bryozoan Amathia verticillata (Delle Chiaje, 1822) and its associates. Sci Mar. doi:10.3989/scimar.04238.03A Google Scholar
  33. Marelli DC (1981) New records for Caprellidae in California, and notes on a morphological variant of Caprella verrucosa Boeck, 1871. P Biol Soc Wash 94:654–662Google Scholar
  34. Martínez J, Adarraga I (2008) First record of invasive caprellid Caprella scaura Templeton, 1836 sensu lato (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Caprellidae) from the Iberian Peninsula. Aquat Invasions 3:165–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mayer P (1903) Die Caprelliden der Siboga-expedition. Siboga Exped 34:1–160Google Scholar
  36. McCain JC (1968) Caprellidae (Crustacea: Amphipoda) of the western North Atlantic. U S Natl Mus Bull 278:1–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Micael J, Parente MI, Costa AC (2014a) Tracking macroalgae introductions in North Atlantic oceanic islands. Helgoland Mar Res 68:209–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Micael J, Marina J, Costa AC, Occhipinti-Ambrogi A (2014b) The non-indigenous Schizoporella errata (Bryozoa: Cheilostomatida) introduced into the Azores Archipelago. Mar Biodivers Rec. doi:10.1017/S1755267214001298 Google Scholar
  39. Minchin D, Lodola A, Occhipinti-Ambrogi A (2012) The occurrence of Caprella scaura (Amphipoda: Caprellidae) in marinas in Lanzarote Island (Canary Archipelago, Macaronesia). Mar Biodivers Rec. doi:10.1017/S175526721200098X Google Scholar
  40. Mizzan L (1999) Le specie alloctone del macrozoobenthos della Laguna di Venezia: il punto della situazione. Boll Mus Civ Stor Nat Venezia 49:145–177Google Scholar
  41. Moore PG (1995) Faunistic notes on a small collection of marine amphipods from São Miguel, Azores. Açoreana 313–316Google Scholar
  42. Morton B, Britton JC, Martins ADF (1998) Coastal ecology of the Azores. Sociedade Afonso Chaves, Ponta DelgadaGoogle Scholar
  43. Prato E, Parlapiano I, Biandolino F (2013) Seasonal fluctuations of some biological traits of the invader Caprella scaura (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Caprellidae) in the Mar Piccolo of Taranto (Ionian Sea, southern Italy). Sci Mar 77:169–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ramalhosa P, Canning-Clode J (2015) The invasive caprellid Caprella scaura Templeton, 1836 (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Caprellidae) arrives on Madeira Island, Portugal. Biol Invasions Rec 4(2):97–102Google Scholar
  45. Rodríguez-Almaras GA, Ortega-Vidales VM (2013) Primer registro de Caprella scaura y Caprella penantis (Crustacea: Peracarida: Amphipoda) en la laguna Madre, Tamaulipas, México. Rev Mex Biodivers 84:989–993CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ros M, Vázquez-Luis M, Guerra-García JM (2013) The role of marinas and recreational boating in the occurrence and distribution of exotic caprellids (Crustacea: Amphipoda) in the Western Mediterranean: Mallorca Island as a case study. J Sea Res 83:94–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ros M, Guerra-García JM, Navarro-Barranco C, Cabezas MP, Vázquez-Luis M (2014) The spreading of the non-native caprellid (Crustacea: Amphipoda) Caprella scaura Templeton, 1836 into southern Europe and northern Africa: a complicated taxonomic history. Mediterr Mar Sci 15:145–155Google Scholar
  48. Ros M, Vázquez-Luis M, Guerra-García JM (2015a) Environmental factors modulating the extent of impact in coastal invasions: the case of a widespread invasive caprellid (Crustacea: Amphipoda) in the Iberian Peninsula. Mar Poll Bull 98(1):247–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ros M, Guerra-García JM, Hoffman R (2015b) First record of the exotic caprellid amphipod Paracaprella pusilla Mayer, 1890 in the eastern Mediterranean. Mar Biodive. doi:10.1007/s12526-015-0311-2 Google Scholar
  50. Serejo CS (1998) Gammaridean and caprellidean fauna (Crustacea) associated with the sponge Dysidea fragilis Johnston at Arraial de Cabo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bull Mar Sci 63:363–385Google Scholar
  51. Takeuchi I, Hirano R (1995) Clinging behaviour of the epifaunal caprellids (Amphipoda) inhabiting the Sargassum zone on the Pacific Coast of Japan, with its evolutionary implications. J Crust Biol 15:481–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Takeuchi I, Sawamoto S (1998) Distribution of caprellid amphipods (Crustacea) in the western North Pacific based on the CSK International Zooplankton. Plankton Biol Ecol 45:225–230Google Scholar
  53. Templeton R (1836) Descriptions of some undescribed exotic Crustacea. Trans Entomol Soc Lond 1:185–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Thiel M, Guerra-García JM, Lancellotti DA, Vásquez N (2003) The distribution of littoral caprellids (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Caprellidea) along the Pacific coast of continental Chile. Rev Chil Hist Nat 76:297–312Google Scholar
  55. Torres P, Costa AC, Dionísio MA (2011) New alien barnacles in the Azores and some remarks on the invasive potential of Balanidae. Helgoland Mar Res 66:513–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wirtz P (1998) Caprellid (Crustacea) - holothurian (Echinodermata) associations in the Azores. Arquipel Life Mar Sci 16A:53–55Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade dos AçoresPonta DelgadaPortugal
  2. 2.CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, InBIO Laboratório Associado, Pólo dos AçoresUniversidade dos AçoresPonta DelgadaPortugal

Personalised recommendations