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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Caulerpa, Mediterranean Clone
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Caulerpa, Mediterranean Clone

Caulerpa, Mediterranean CloneScientific name: Caulerpa taxifolia (Vahl) C. Agandh (ITIS; name is accepted but unverified)

Common names: Caulerpa, Mediterranean clone; Killer algae

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Selected Resources

Native To: Caulerpa taxifolia is widespread in tropical habitats; the Mediterranean clone may have originated in Australia (Jousson et al. 1998; Meusnier et al. 2001)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 2000 (Woodfield 2008)

Means of Introduction: Aquarium trade (Woodfield 2008)

Impact: Crowds out native species (Woodfield 2008)

Current U.S. Distribution:

Federally Regulated:

  • Listed as a Federal Noxious Weed under the Plant Protection Act, which makes it illegal in the U.S. to import or transport between States without a permit (USDA, APHIS - Noxious Weeds Program)



Selected Internet Resources:


Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

Priority Species: Caulerpa
Washington Invasive Species Council.


Invasive Species Compendium - Caulerpa taxifolia
CAB International.

Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe (DAISIE): Species Factsheet - Caulerpa taxifolia
European Commission. Sixth Framework Programme.

Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat.

Killer Algae
Narragansett Bay Research Reserve. Coastal Training Program. Rhode Island Marine & Estuarine Invasive Species Site.

Phytosanitary Alert System - Caulerpa taxifolia
North American Plant Protection Organization.

Environment Alert Bulletin - Caulerpa taxifolia, a Growing Menace for the Temperate Marine Environment (Jan 2004; PDF | 635 KB)
United Nations Environment Programme.

Global Invasive Species Database - Caulerpa taxifolia (alga)
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.


PLANTS Database - Killer Alga
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

Caulerpa taxifolia
DOC. NOAA. National Marine Fisheries Service. West Coast Region.

Eradicating and preventing the spread of the invasive alga Caulerpa taxifolia in New South Wales (Jun 2004)
Australia. Department of the Environment and Heritage.



Killer Alga, Caulerpa taxifolia (Bryosipdales: Caulerpaceae)
University of California - Riverside. Center for Invasive Species Research.

Caulerpa taxifolia
University of Florida. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

Aquatic Invaders: Caulerpa Seaweed - Aquatic Invader Toolkit (PDF | 592 KB)
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.

Introduced Species Summary Project - Killer Algae
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

Asian Carps - Aquatic Invasions! A Menace to the West Species Guide (PDF | 305 KB)
Oregon State University. Oregon Sea Grant.


Deep Sea Invasion, Original PBS Broadcast Date: Apr 1, 2003


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Caulerpa taxifolia. [Accessed Feb 28, 2015].

Jousson, O., J. Pawlowski, L. Zaninetti, A. Meinesz, and C.F. Boudouresque. 1998. Molecular evidence for the aquarium origin of the green alga Caulerpa taxifolia introduced to the Mediterranean Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 172:275-280.

Meusnier, I., J.L. Olsen, W.T. Stam, C. Destombe, M. Valero. 2001. Phylogenetic analyses of Caulerpa taxifolia (Chlorophyta) and of its associated bacterial microflora provide clues to the origin of the Mediterranean introduction. Molecular Ecology 10(4):931-946.

Woodfield, R. 2008. Noxious seaweed found in southern California coastal waters (PDF | 103 KB). NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Southwest Regional Office.

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Last Modified: Mar 20, 2015
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