Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Clavelina Lepadiformis in the Thames?

Finally after getting some nice weather and everyone's schedule aligned we made a trip to the Thames River to look for Clavelina lepadiformis. "SCUBA" Joe Magniafico had thought he had seen the invasive tunicate during the winter of 2007-2008 off a pier on the New London side, but we needed to go back to confirm it's presence.

After a smooth ride 10 minute from the Uconn Avery Point campus in the R/V Challenger Joe and Lauren Stefaniak splashed over the sides in their dry suits. In a few moments SCUBA Joe's suspicions were confirmed, Clavelina lepadiformis is indeed present in the Thames River.

New London is an international port with large commercial vessels using the harbor everyday and are perhaps serving as a vector to spread this new invader. Where else might Clavelina lepadiformis be going?