German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Estuarine tube-worm

Ficopomatus enigmaticus

Common name:

Estuarine tube-worm

Scientific name:

Ficopomatus enigmaticus

Alternative common names:

Australian tubeworm, tube worm.

Estuarine tube–worm is a species of serpulid tubeworm. It builds and lives in white, calcareous tubes that are about 2mm in diameter and 2cm long. It is an invasive species that dominates and alters habitats, reduces water quality, depletes resources and causes biofouling. 

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Australia.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 1b

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Cape Peninsula in Western Cape.

    How does it spread?

    It is often introduced to new regions by fouling on ship and boat hulls, although some of its transport may have occurred as larvae in ballast water or in some cases as fouling on transported oyster shells.

    Why is it a problem?

    It invades and alters habitats, reduces water quality, depletes resources and causes biofouling. It has become a major nuisance in the lower Diep River Estuary in Cape Town, particularly in the area around the wooden bridge and the Woodbridge Island Road bridge.

    What does it look like?

    Description: The tubes are somewhat flared at their open ends and have conspicuous, collar-like rings or flanges spaced irregularly along their lengths. Older tubes are typically stained a gold-brown or dark brown along much of their length, with the areas around the flanges and the flared ends usually remaining white. Habitat: It grows in the low intertidal to shallow sub tidal range on rocks, concrete, wood, shells and other hard surfaces, including pilings and the sides of floating docks, buoys and boat hulls. Breeding: It can survive in ocean salinity, but grows and reproduces only in lower salinity at temperatures above 18°C. During spawning, eggs and sperm are released into the water where fertilisation occurs. The larvae develop in the plankton and after 20-25 days settle on and attach to an appropriate hard surface.

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…

26-02-2019

This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training

22-01-2019

During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

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01-03-2018

On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released

28-02-2018

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Communications post for Africa advertised

25-01-2018

The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more