, 590:31 | Cite as

Distribution of the introduced amphipod, Caprella mutica Schurin, 1935 (Amphipoda: Caprellida: Caprellidae) on the west coast of Scotland and a review of its global distribution

  • Gail V. AshtonEmail author
  • Kate J. Willis
  • Elizabeth J. Cook
  • Michael Burrows
Invasive Crustacea


Caprella mutica Schurin, 1935 was first described from sub-boreal areas of north–east Asia. In less than 40 years C. mutica has spread throughout the northern hemisphere and the first recorded sighting in the southern hemisphere is reported here. Caprella mutica has been introduced to temperate oceanic coasts between latitudes of 25 and 70 °N. Outside its native range, C. mutica has only been found in areas of human activity, including ports, aquaculture facilities and an oilrig; the species has not yet been found in natural habitats. Shipping and aquaculture transfers are the most likely long distance vectors; recreational boating and drifting weed are the most likely short distance vectors. Temperature and salinity do not explain the small-scale distribution of C. mutica on the west coast of Scotland; globally its annual temperature range is 0–22°C. This suggests that the local scale distribution of C. mutica is potentially limited by the availability of suitable transportation vectors during the dispersal phase rather than by physical environmental factors following release.


Caprella mutica Caprellid Crustacean Scotland Global distribution Biological invasion 



The authors would like to thank all those who reported new Caprella mutica sightings and information. In addition to those listed in Table 1, we would also like to acknowledge the following people for their help; C. Allan, L. Lamour, W. Vader, I. Dobson, J. Mallison, M. Markey, H. Powell, N. Purvis, C. Ritch, C. Sanderson, D. Smith, J. Blackadder, T. Worsfold, and the NIWA biosecurity team. This research was funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council, the British Ecological Society (Small Ecological Project Grant No. 2135) and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation Marine Aliens project (Reference EN/04-0395).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gail V. Ashton
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kate J. Willis
    • 1
  • Elizabeth J. Cook
    • 1
  • Michael Burrows
    • 1
  1. 1.Scottish Association for Marine ScienceDunstaffnage Marine LaboratoryObanScotland

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