In 1999 the marine isopod Synidotea laevidorsalis (Miers 1881), indigenous to the northwest Pacific, was first documented in Delaware Bay, USA. We monitored weekly recruitment of this isopod and several other motile species in the Maurice River, a tributary of Delaware Bay. A spatial survey was also conducted. Abundance of S. laevidorsalis varied seasonally but overwhelmingly dominated other co-occurring species by an order of magnitude or more throughout most of the year. Isopod abundance increased through the summer of 2004 and peaked in September, coincident with the passing of Hurricane Ivan. Field observations documented large populations, frequently associated with pilings and buoy lines, throughout Delaware Bay in salinities of 4 through 22 ppt. The dramatic abundance of this isopod indicates that there is considerable potential for altering community structure. This isopod has yet to be observed along the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey or in Chesapeake Bay, but it has been reported near Charleston, SC.
Asian benthic Delaware Bay Hurricane Ivan invasion isopod New Jersey non-native Synidotea laevidorsalis
Delaware River Basin Commission
Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
salinity of water as measured in parts per thousand