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ANAMAR Biologist, Jason Seitz’s Publication on Taxonomic Resolution of Sawfish Rosta Published in Endangered Species Research (ESR)

 

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A synopsis of Jason Seitz and Jan Jeffrey Hoover’s evaluations of two large private collections of sawfish rosta (saws) has been published in the latest issue of ESR, an online-only international and multidisciplinary open-access journal on endangered species research.

Click here to read the article.

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Florida’s Introduced Nonindigenous and Invasive Amphibians and Reptiles: Part 2 of a 3-part Series on Biological Invasions in Florida

This article was first written and posted in 2015. We decided to dust it off and repost it. Enjoy!

This article discusses the species of introduced herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) of Florida’s terrestrial and aquatic habitats along with a general discussion of the possible effects of biological invasions on native wildlife and habitats.  The first part of this three-part series was on introduced fishes in the state.  The final part of the series will be on introduced mollusks (bivalves and gastropods, or clams and snails & slugs) of Florida. 

As of this writing, at least 110 species of nonindigenous herpetofauna (colloquially called ‘herptiles’ for short) representing 34 families have been introduced to Florida (Exhibits 1 and 4).  Of the species introduced to Florida, about 43% are now considered to have established breeding populations in one or more counties (Exhibit 2).  This amounts to 47 established herptile species in Florida as of this writing.  Both urban and natural areas of Florida are affected by these biological invaders.  For example, the first reticulated python (Python reticulatus) observed in Florida was during the 1980s, where it was seen living under a house in Miami.  This species has since been observed and (or) collected in several other areas of Florida, although it is not known whether the species has established self-sustaining breeding populations (Exhibit 3).   Lizards are the most successful group and account for the majority (72%) of established herptiles in Florida today.  The list in Exhibit 4 below contains the species known to have been introduced, although it is important to note that new species are introduced on a regular basis in Florida, so the list is constantly expanding.  Most introduced herptiles are native to the tropics (Wilson and Porras 1983).  The fact that Florida’s climate is subtropical is a major reason why many introduced species have successfully established themselves in the state.  Nonindigenous herptiles have been introduced via a variety of mechanisms:

  • Stowaways in shipments of ornamental plants or produce
  • Intentional or accidental release by pet dealers or owners
  • Intentional or accidental release from zoological parks
  • Intentional release by government agencies to combat nuisance organisms

photo 1 Herptiles.PNG

Exhibit 1.  Percentages per group of introduced species of amphibians and reptiles in Florida today.  Sources: Florida Museum of Natural History (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/florida-amphibians-reptiles/checklist-atlas/), USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species online database (http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpeciesList.aspx?group=Amphibians&state=FL&Sortby=1), Krysko et al. (2011), J.C.Seitz unpublished data.

photo 2 herptiles.PNG

Exhibit 2.  Percentages per group of introduced species of amphibians and reptiles that are known to have established self-sustaining breeding populations in Florida today.  Sources: Florida Museum of Natural History (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/florida-amphibians-reptiles/checklist-atlas/), USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species online database (http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpeciesList.aspx?group=Amphibians&state=FL&Sortby=1), Krysko et al. (2011), J.C.Seitz unpublished data.

photo 3 herptiles.PNG

Exhibit 3.  Several sightings and captures of the reticulated python (Python reticulatus) have occurred in Florida counties since the late 1980s, including Broward, Collier, Manatee, Miami-Dade, and Pinellas counties. 

The red pin-shaped symbols above represent the location of a sighting or capture.  The black numbers surrounded by red denote locations where more than one sighting or capture was recorded.  Modified from the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation (http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/snakes/reticulatedpython.shtml).

Wilson and Porras predicted in the early 1980s that southern Florida would eventually be overrun with introduced exotic wildlife.  The current trends in established and spreading introduced species suggest that these authors may have been right. 

Reducing the effects of invasive nonindigenous species is an important part of restoration and management efforts in natural areas of Florida, United States, and worldwide, as these species cause significant stress to native ecosystems (Adams and Steigerwalt 2010) and biological invasion is widely viewed as a major cause of the reduction in native plant and animal diversity (Elton 1958, Wilcove et al. 1998).  Invasive species are known to affect most natural areas of the United States (Villazon 2009) and worldwide (Sala et al. 2000).

It should go without saying that the intentional introduction of any nonindigenous species, whether it be a plant or animal and regardless of size or assumed innocuousness, should never be attempted.  The reasons are many and the costs can be severe, both in terms of biological effects and economic impacts.  Nonindigenous species introduced to new areas have the capacity to explode in numbers and outcompete native species for limited resources such as food, water, and shelter.  Native species are at a competitive disadvantage because they have not had time to evolve defense mechanisms that would otherwise allow them to successfully compete against the introduced species.  The competition between native and nonindigenous species can result in the extinction of native species, the spread of diseases and parasites, displacement of whole communities, and may even cause physical changes to the environment. 

Exhibit 4.  Nonindigenous amphibians and reptiles recorded in Florida.

Scientific Name

Common Name

Locality Records

Current Status

ANURA

FROGS & TOADS

 

 

BOMBINATORIDAE

FIRE-BELLIED TOADS

 

 

Bombina orientalis

Oriental Fire-bellied Toad

Broward Co.

Unknown

BUFONIDAE

AMERICAN TOADS

 

 

Atelopus zeteki

Panamanian Golden Frog

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

Duttaphrynus melanostictus

Southeast Asian Toad

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

Rhaebo blombergi

Columbian Giant Toad

Broward Co. (1963)

Failed

Rhinella marina

Cane Toad

Southern Florida, portions of central and northern Florida

Established (southern FL)

Unknown (elsewhere)

ELEUTERODACTYLIDAE

RAINFROGS

 

 

Eleutherodactylus coqui

Coqui

Miami-Dade Co.

Established

Eleutherodactylus planirostris

Greenhouse Frog

Throughout most of Florida

Established (throughout)

Eleutherodactylus portoricensis

Forest Coqui

Miami-Dade Co. (1964)

Collected

HYLIDAE

TREEFROGS

 

 

Litoria caerulea

Australian Green Treefrog

Broward, Collier, & Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown

Osteopilus septentrionalis

Cuban Treefrog

Throughout most of Florida

Established (most of FL)

Pachymedusa dacnicolor

Mexican Leaf Frog

Miami-Dade Co. (1964)

Failed

Pseudacris sierra

Sierran Chorus Frog

Hillsborough & Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown

HYPEROLIIDAE

SEDGE AND BUSH FROGS

 

 

Afrixalus fornasini

Fornasini's Spiny Reed Frog

Broward Co.

Failed

MICROHYLIDAE

NARROWMOUTH TOADS

 

 

Kaloula pulchra

Malaysian Painted Frog

Broward Co.

Unknown

PIPIDAE

TONGUELESS FROGS

 

 

Hymenochirus boettgeri

Zaire Dwarf Clawed Frog

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

Xenopus laevis

African Clawed Frog

Brevard, Hillsborough, & Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown

AMPHIUMIDAE

AQUATIC SALAMANDERS

 

 

Amphiuma tridactylum

Three-toed Amphiuma

Broward Co.

Unknown

SALAMANDRIDAE

TRUE SALAMANDERS AND NEWTS

 

 

Cynops orientalis

Oriental Fire-bellied Newt

Broward & Sumter Co.

Unknown (Broward Co.)

Collected (Sumter Co.)

Cynops pyrrhogaster

Japanese Fire-bellied Salamander

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens

Red-spotted Newt

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

Pachytriton labiatus

Paddle-Tail Newt

Broward Co.

Failed

TESTUDINES

TURTLES & TORTOISES

 

 

BATAGURIDAE

BATAGURID TURTLES

 

 

Ocadia sinensis

Chinese Stripe-necked Turtle

 Alachua Co. (1972)

Eradicated

Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima

Central American Ornate Wood Turtle

Manatee Co.

Failed

Rhinoclemmys punctularia

Spot-legged Wood Turtle

Miami-Dade Co.

Established (Miccosukee Indian Reservation)

Collected (Parrot Jungle Trail, Jungle Island)

CHELIDAE

SOUTH AMERICAN SIDE-NECKED TURTLES

 

 

Chelus fimbriatus

Matamata

Broward Co.

Failed

Platemys platycephala

Twist-necked Turtle

Collier Co.

Collected

EMYDIDAE

POND TURTLES

 

 

Chrysemys dorsalis

Southern Painted Turtle

Alachua & Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown

Chrysemys picta

Western Painted Turtle

Jackson, Miami-Dade, & Orange Co.

Unknown (Jackson Co.)

Failed (Miami-Dade Co.)

Collected (Orange Co.)

Glyptemys insculpta

Wood Turtle

St. Johns Co.

Failed

Graptemys barbouri

Barbour's Map Turtle

Leon Co.

Collected

Graptemys ernsti

Escambia Map Turtle

Orange Co.

Unknown

Graptemys ouachitensis

Ouachita Map Turtle

Miami-Dade & Palm Beach Co.

Collected (Miami-Dade Co.)

Unknown (Palm Beach Co.)

Graptemys pseudogeographica

False Map Turtle

Brevard, Columbia, Gilchrist, & Miami-Dade Co.

Failed (Miami-Dade Co.)

Unknown (elsewhere)

Trachemys dorbigni

Brazilian Slider

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

Trachemys scripta callirostris

Columbian Slider

Miami-Dade & Monroe Co.

Failed (Miami-Dade Co.)

Unknown (Monroe Co.)

Trachemys scripta elegans

Red-eared Slider

Throughout most of Florida

Established (throughout)

Trachemys scripta scripta

Yellow-bellied Slider

Broward, Lee, & Miami-Dade Co.

Established (Lee Co.)

Unknown (Broward & Miami-Dade Co.

Trachemys stejnegeri malonei

Inagua Slider

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

KINOSTERNIDAE

MUD & MUSK TURTLES

 

 

Kinosternon scorpioides

Scorpion Mud Turtle

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

Staurotypus salvinii

Pacific Coast giant musk turtle

Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown

Pelusios subniger

East African Black Mud Turtle

Miami-Dade Co.

Collected

PELOMEDUSIDAE

AFRICAN SIDE-NECKED TURTLES

 

 

Podocnemis lewyana

Magdalena River Turtle

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

Podocnemis sextuberculata

Six-tubercled River turtle

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

Podocnemis unifilis

Yellow-spotted River Turtle

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

TESTUDINIDAE

LAND TORTOISES

 

 

Chelonoidis denticulata

Yellowfoot Tortoise

Collier Co.

Collected

TRIONYCHIDAE

SOFTSHELL TURTLES

 

 

Apalone spinifera

Spiny Softshell

Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown

CROCODYLIA

CROCODILES & ALLIGATORS

 

 

ALLIGATORIDAE

ALLIGATORS

 

 

Caiman crocodilus

Spectacled Caiman

Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, & Seminole Co.

Established (Broward & Miami-Dade Co.)

Unknown (elsewhere)

Paleosuchus palpebrosus

Cuvier's Smooth-fronted Caiman

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

Paleosuchus trigonatus

Schneider's Smooth-fronted Caiman

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

CROCODYLIDAE

CROCODILES

 

 

Crocodylus niloticus

Nile Crocodile

Hendry & Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

Mecistops cataphractus

African Slender-snouted Crocodile

Miami-Dade Co.

Failed

SQUAMATA

AMPHISBAENIANS, LIZARDS, & SNAKES

 

 

CORYTOPHANIDAE

HELMET LIZARDS

 

 

Basiliscus vittatus

Brown Basilisk

Nine counties in southern FL

Established (Broward, Collier, Glades, Indian River, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, & St. Lucie Co.)

Unknown (elsewhere)

IGUANIDAE

IGUANAS

 

 

Ctenosaura pectinata

Mexican Spinytail Iguana

Broward & Miami-Dade Co.

Established (Miami-Dade Co.)

Unknown (Broward Co.)

Ctenosaura similis

Black Spinytail Iguana

Nine coastal counties in southern FL

Established (most coastal counties in southern FL)

Unknown (elsewhere)

Iguana iguana

Green Iguana

Throughout coastal southern FL and along Lake Okeechobee, isolated areas elsewhere in FL

Established (many coastal counties in southern FL)

Unknown (northern & central FL)

PHRYNOSOMATIDAE

NORTH AMERICAN SPINY LIZARDS

 

 

Phrynosoma cornutum

Texas Horned Lizard

Spottily distributed throughout FL

Established (Duval Co. & western panhandle coastal areas)

Unknown (elsewhere)

POLYCHROTIDAE

ANOLES

 

 

Anolis chlorocyanus

Hispaniolan Green Anole

Broward & Palm Beach Co.

Established (Broward Co.)

Unknown (Palm Beach Co.)

Anolis cristatellus

Puerto Rican Crested Anole

Broward & Miami-Dade Co.

Established (Miami-Dade Co.)

Unknown (Broward Co.)

Anolis cybotes

Largehead Anole

Miami-Dade, Broward, & Martin Co.

Established (Miami-Dade Co.)

Unknown (Broward & Martin Co.)

Anolis distichus

Bark Anole

Most of coastal southern FL

Established (most of coastal southern FL)

Anolis equestris

Knight Anole

Most of coastal southern FL, spottily distributed in inland counties

Established (most of coastal southern FL)

Anolis garmani

Jamaican Giant Anole

Miami-Dade Co.

Established (Miami-Dade Co.)

Anolis porcatus

Cuban Green Anole

Miami-Dade & Monroe Co.

Possible hybridization with A. carolinensis (Miami-Dade & Monroe Co.)

Anolis sagrei

Brown Anole

Throughout peninsula and in at least 6 counties in panhandle

Established (most of FL)

Anolis trinitatis

St. Vincent Bush Anole

Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown

TROPIDURIDAE

LAVA LIZARDS

 

 

Leiocephalus carinatus

Northern Curlytail Lizard

15 counties in peninsular FL

Established to unknown throughout

Leiocephalus schreibersii

Red-sided Curlytail Lizard

Broward, Charlotte, & Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown

AGAMIDAE

AGAMID LIZARDS

 

 

Agama agama

African Rainbow Lizard

9 counties in peninsular FL

Established to unknown throughout

Calotes cf. versicolor

Variable Bloodsucker

Broward & St. Lucie Co.

Unknown (Broward Co.)

Established (St. Lucie Co.)

Leiolepis bellinana

Butterfly Lizard

Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown (Miami-Dade Co.)

CHAMAELEONIDAE

CHAMELEONS

 

 

Chamaeleo calyptratus

Veiled Chameleon

Alachua, Collier, Lee, & Hendry Co.

Unknown (Alachua & Collier Co.)

Established (Hendry & Miami-Dade Co.)

Furcifer oustaleti

Oustalet’s Chameleon

Miami-Dade Co.

Established (Miami-Dade Co.)

SPHAERODACTYLIDAE

NEW WORLD GECKOS

 

 

Gonatodes albogularis

Yellowhead Gecko

Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, & St. Lucie Co.

Likely established (Monroe Co.)

Failed (Broward, Miami-Dade, & St. Lucie Co.)

Sphaerodactylus argus

Ocellated Gecko

Monroe Co.

Established

Sphaerodactylus elegans

Ashy Gecko

Miami-Dade & Monroe Co.

Established (Miami-Dade & Monroe Co.)

GEKKONIDAE

WALL GECKOS

 

 

Gekko badenii

Golden Gecko

Broward Co. (Hollywood)

Unknown

Gekko gecko

Tokay Gecko

Spottily distributed between FL Keys north to Tallahassee

Established (spottily between FL Keys to Tallahassee)

Hemidactylus frenatus

Common House Gecko

Broward, Lee, Miami-Dade, & Monroe Co.

Established (Broward, Lee, Miami-Dade, & Monroe Co.)

Hemidactylus garnotti

Indo-Pacific House Gecko

Throughout southern, central, & northern FL peninsula; a few counties in panhandle

Established (throughout peninsula)

Unknown (panhandle)

Hemidactylus mabouia

Tropical House Gecko

Throughout southern FL, also parts of central and northern FL

Established (southern FL, parts of central and northern FL)

Hemidactylus platyurus

Asian Flat-tailed House Gecko

Alachua, Broward, Lee, Miami-Dade, & Pinellas Co.

Established (locally in vicinity of reptile dealerships)

Hemidactylus turcicus

Mediterranean Gecko

Throughout FL

Established (throughout)

Lepidodactylus lugubris

Mourning Gecko

Lee, Miami-Dade, & St. Lucie Co.

Unknown

Phelsuma grandis

Madagascar Giant Day Gecko

Broward, Lee, Monroe, & Palm Beach Co.

Established (Monroe & Palm Beach Co.)

Unknown (Broward & Lee Co.)

PHYLLODACTYLIDAE

PHYLLODACTYLID GECKOS

 

 

Tarentola annularis

Ringed Wall Gecko

Lee, Leon, Broward, & Miami-Dade Co.

Eradicated (Leon Co.)

Unknown (elsewhere)

Tarentola mauritanica

Moorish Gecko

Broward Co.; possibly Lee & Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown

TEIIDAE

WHIPTAILS

 

 

Ameiva ameiva

Giant Ameiva

Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade, & Monroe Co.

Established (Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade, & Monroe Co.)

Aspidoscelis motaguae (formerly Cnemidophorus motaguae)

Giant Whiptail

Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown, possibly established (Miami-Dade Co.)

Cnemidophorus lemniscatus complex

Rainbow Whiptail

Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown, possibly established (Miami-Dade Co.)

Tupinambis merianae

Argentine Giant Tegu

Southern FL, spottily recorded in central and northern FL

Established (Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, & Polk Co.)

Unknown (elsewhere)

SCINCIDAE

SKINKS

 

 

Chalcides ocellatus

Ocellated Skink

Pasco & Broward Co.

Established (both counties)

Eutropis multifasciata

Many-lined Sun Skink

Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown

Trachylepis quinquetaeniata

African Five-lined Skink

St. Lucie Co.

Unknown

VARANIDAE

MONITORS

 

 

Varanus albigularis

White-throated Monitor

Miami-Dade, Monroe, Osceola, & Palm-Beach Co.

Unknown

Varanus doreanus

Blue-tailed Monitor

Indian River Co.

Unknown

Varanus exanthematicus

Savannah Monitor

Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Leon, Marian, Miami-Dade, Orange, Polk, Sarasota, & Seminole Co.

Unknown

Varanus jobiensis

Peach-throated Monitor

Palm Beach & Polk Co.

Unknown

Varanus niloticus

Nile Monitor

Southern FL, parts of central and northern FL

Established (Broward, Lee, Miami-Dade, & Palm Beach Co.)

Unknown (elsewhere)

Varanus salvator

Water Monitor

Alachua, Broward, Pinellas, & St. Johns Co.

Unknown

Varanus salvadorii

Crocodile Monitor

Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown

ACROCHORDIDAE

WORT SNAKES

 

 

Acrochordus javanicus

Javan File Snake

Broward & Miami-Dade Co.

Established (Miami-Dade Co.)

Unknown (Broward Co.)

BOIDAE

BOAS

 

 

Boa constrictor

Boa Constrictor

Southern FL, parts of central and northern FL

Established (Miami-Dade Co. at Charles Deering Estate)

Unknown (elsewhere)

Eunectes murinus

Green Anaconda

Collier & Osceola Co., possibly Monroe Co.

Collected (Collier & Osceola Co.)

Unknown (Monroe Co.)

Eunectes notaeus

Yellow Anaconda

Collier, Miami-Dade, & Monroe Co.

Collected (Monroe Co.)

Unknown (Collier & Miami-Dade Co.)

PYTHONIDAE

PYTHONS

 

 

Python bivittatus

Burmese Python

Southern FL, parts of central and northern FL

Established (Broward, Collier, Hendry, Miami-Dade, Monroe, & Palm Beach Co.)

Unknown (elsewhere)

Python regius

Ball Python

Collier Co.

Unknown

Python reticulatus

Reticulated Python

Broward, Collier, Manatee, Miami-Dade, & Pinellas Co.

Unknown

Python sebae

Northern African Rock Python

Miami-Dade & Sarasota Co.

Established: Miami-Dade Co.

Unknown: Sarasota Co.

COLUBRIDAE

COLUBRID SNAKES

 

 

Erpeton tentaculatus

Tentacled Snake

Broward Co.

Failed

TYPHLOPIDAE

BLINDSNAKES

 

 

Ramphotyphlops braminus

Brahminy Blindsnake

Central & southern FL, spottily distributed in northern FL

Established (southern, central, portions of northern FL)

Unknown (elsewhere)

Sources: Florida Museum of Natural History (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/florida-amphibians-reptiles/checklist-atlas/), USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species online database (http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpeciesList.aspx?group=Amphibians&state=FL&Sortby=1), Krysko et al. (2011), J.C.Seitz unpublished data.

Sources:

Adams, C.R. and N.M. Steigerwalt.  2010.  Research Needs and Logistic Impediments in Restoration, Enhancement, and Management Projects: A Survey of Land Managers. Publication ENH1161 [online resource].  Environmental Horticulture Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.  Accessed 11/21/10 at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep423.

Elton, C.S.  1958.  The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants.  Methuen and Co., Ltd., Strand, London.

Florida Museum of Natural History.  2014.  Checklist & Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Florida [online resource].  Accessed 02/24/15 at http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/florida-amphibians-reptiles/checklist-atlas/.

Krysko, K.L., K.M. Enge, P.E. Moler.  2011.  Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Florida.  Project Agreement 08013, report submitted to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, FL.

Sala, O.E. F.S. Chapin, J.J. Armesto, E. Berlow, J. Bloomfield, R. Dirzo, E. Huber-Sanwald, L.F. Huenneke, R.B. Jackson, A. Kinzig, R. Leemans, D.M. Lodge, H.A. Mooney, M. Oesterheld, N.L. Poff, M.T. Sykes, B.H. Walker, M. Walker, and D.H. Wall.  2000.  Global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100.  Science 287:1770–1774.

U.S. Geological Survey.  2015.  NAS – Nonindigenous Aquatic Species [online resource].  Accessed 03/03/15 at http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/CollectionInfo.aspx?SpeciesID=963&State=FL.

Villazon, K.A.  2009.  Methods to Restore Native Plant Communities after Invasive Species Removal: Marl Prairie Ponds and an Abandoned Phosphate Mine in Florida.  MS thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Wilcove, D.S., D. Rothstein, J. Dubow, A. Phillips, and E. Losos.  1998.  Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States. Bioscience 48:607–615.

Wilson, L.D. and L. Porras.  1983.  The Ecological Impact of Man on the South Florida Herpetofauna.  The University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Special Publication No. 9, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

 

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Florida’s Introduced Nonindigenous and Invasive Fishes: Part 1 of a 3-part Series on Biological Invasions in Florida

This article is a repost from 2015. It discusses the species of introduced fishes in Florida’s freshwater and marine habitats, along with a general discussion of biological invasions as a potential driver of loss-of-habitat functions.  Future articles in the series will discuss introduced mollusks (bivalves and gastropods) and herptiles (amphibians and reptiles) of Florida.

Waterbodies such as streams, lakes, ponds, and oceans are well known for their habitat functions, especially their ability to support aquatic wildlife by providing sustenance and shelter.  A myriad of animals, from tiny arthropods to 12-meter-long whale sharks, rely on native organisms as food.   Many waterbodies support some of the most productive habitats in the world, providing food and shelter for mollusks, crustaceans, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, and often serve as vital nursery grounds for these species.  Others are nutrient-poor and relatively unproductive.  Nevertheless, hundreds of imperiled species require aquatic habitats for survival.  Along with their threatened or endangered wildlife, waterbodies themselves are threatened in many ways.  Anthropogenic disturbances include groundwater depletion, reallocation of surface water, nutrient inputs, habitat fragmentation, fire suppression, pollution, land use changes, overharvesting, climate change, dredging, and the introduction of nonindigenous plants and animals (Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1 of JCS Introduced Fishes Writeup 012815

Reducing the effects of invasive nonindigenous species is an important part of restoration and management efforts in natural areas of Florida, the United States, and worldwide.  These species cause significant stress to native ecosystems (Adams and Steigerwalt 2010), and biological invasion is widely viewed as a major cause of the reduction in native plant and animal diversity (Elton 1958, Wilcove et al. 1998).  Invasive species are known to affect most natural areas of the United States (Villazon 2009) and worldwide (Sala et al. 2000), and aquatic habitats are particularly susceptible to nonindigenous species due in part to the fact that aquatic habitats act as biological sinks, receiving plant and animal genetic material from upstream sources.

As of this writing, at least 192 species of fishes representing 42 families have been introduced to Florida (Exhibit 2).  Nearly all waterbodies are affected by fish introductions, from small wetlands to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida.  The list below contains the species known to have been introduced, although it is important to note that new species are introduced on a regular basis in Florida, so the list is constantly expanding.  Many species ultimately fail to gain a foothold in Florida, while a smaller number of species successfully establish themselves.  Some have spread like a cancer across the state.  The Brown Hoplo (Hoplosternum littorale) is an example of an introduction that is now established throughout the peninsula of Florida, much to the detriment of native aquatic species that have not had time to adapt to this new competitor for limited resources.  Marine habitats are not immune to biological invasions.  The detrimental effects of the (likely intentional) introduction of two species of invasive lionfishes (Red Lionfish and Devil Firefish [Pterois volitans and P. miles]) are still being determined but likely include direct predation on native fishes, crabs, and shrimps and competition with native reef species for limited resources.  Red Lionfish and Devil Firefish are now firmly established throughout the Atlantic coast of Florida and are actively invading much of the Gulf of Mexico.  The spread of lionfishes throughout the western North Atlantic Ocean is occurring at an unprecedented rate (see Exhibit 3) (Schofield 2010).  Many of the introduced fishes in Florida are from tropical or subtropical areas of Asia and South America, and to a lesser extent, Africa (Idelberger et al. 2010).  The fact that Florida’s climate is also subtropical is a major reason why many introduced species have successfully established themselves in the state. 

It should go without saying that the intentional introduction of any nonindigenous species, whether it be a plant or animal and regardless of size or assumed innocuousness, should never be attempted.  The reasons are many and the costs can be severe, both in terms of biological effects and economic impacts.  Nonindigenous species introduced to new areas have the capacity to explode in numbers and outcompete native species for limited resources such as food, water, and shelter.  Native species are at a competitive disadvantage because they have not had time to evolve defense mechanisms that would otherwise allow them to successfully compete against the introduced species.  The competition between native and nonindigenous species can result in the extinction of native species, the spread of diseases and parasites, and the displacement of whole communities, and may even cause physical changes to the environment. 

Exhibit 2.  Freshwater and marine nonindigenous fishes recorded from Florida.

Scientific Name

Common Name

Locality Records

Current Status

ACANTHURIDAE

SURGEONFISHES

 

 

Acanthurus guttatus

Whitespotted Surgeonfish

Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach County

Unknown, not likely to be established

Acanthurus pyroferus

Chocolate Surgeonfish

Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach County

Unknown, not likely to be established

Acanthurus sohal

Red Sea Surgeonfish

Atlantic Ocean off Broward County

Unknown, not likely to be established

Naso lituratus

Orangespine Unicornfish

Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach County

Unknown, not likely to be established

Zebrasoma desjardinii

Sailfin Tang

Atlantic Ocean off Broward County

Unknown, not likely to be established

Zebrasoma flavescens

Yellow Tang

Atlantic Ocean off Broward, Monroe, & Palm Beach counties

Established off Monroe County, unknown elsewhere

Zebrasoma scopas

Brown Tang

Atlantic Ocean off Broward County

Unknown, not likely to be established

Zebrasoma veliferum

Sailfin Tang

Atlantic Ocean off Monroe & Palm Beach counties

Unknown

Zebrasoma xanthurum

Yellowtail Tang

Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach County

Unknown

ANABANTIDAE

CLIMBING GOURAMIES

 

 

Anabas testudineus

Climbing Perch

Manatee County

Extirpated

Ctenopoma nigropannosum

Twospot Climbing Perch

Manatee County

Extirpated

ANOSTOMIDAE

HEADSTANDERS

 

 

Leporinus fasciatus

Banded Leporinus

Miami-Dade County

Failed

BALISTIDAE

TRIGGERFISHES

   

Balistoides conspicillum

Clown Triggerfish

Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach County

Unknown, not likely to be established

Rhinecanthus aculeatus

Lagoon Triggerfish

Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach County

Unknown, not likely to be established

Rhinecanthus verrucosus

Bursa Triggerfish

Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach County

Unknown, not likely to be established

BLENNIIDAE

BLENNIES

 

 

Hypsoblennius invemar

Tessellated Blenny

Atlantic and Gulf coasts off Bay, Broward, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, & Palm Beach counties

Established

CALLICHTHYIDAE

ARMORED CATFISHES

 

 

Callichthys callichthys

Cascarudo

Palm Beach County, Boca Raton

Failed

Corydoras sp.

Corydoras

Miami-Dade County, elsewhere

Failed

Hoplosternum littorale

Brown Hoplo

Most of peninsular Florida

Established

CENTRARCHIDAE

SUNFISHES

 

 

Ambloplites rupestris

Rock Bass

Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, & Walton counties

Established

CHAETODONTIDAE

BUTTERFLYFISHES

 

 

Chaetodon lunula

Raccoon Butterflyfish

Atlantic Ocean off Broward & Palm Beach counties

Unknown

Heniochus diphreutes

Schooling Bannerfish

Atlantic Ocean off Broward County

Unknown, not likely to be established

Heniochus intermedius

Red Sea Bannerfish

Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach County

Unknown, not likely to be established

Heniochus sp.

Bannerfish

Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach County

Unknown

CHANNIDAE

SNAKEHEADS

 

 

Channa argus

Northern Snakehead

Seminole & Volusia counties

Failed

Channa marulius

Bullseye Snakehead

Broward County

Established

CHARACIDAE

TETRAS

 

 

Aphyocharax anisitsi

Bloodfin Tetra

Hillsborough County

Failed

Colossoma macropomum

Tambaqui

Alachua, Bay, Broward, Leon, Pinellas, St. Lucie & Volusia counties

Failed

Colossoma or Piaractus sp.

Unidentified Pacu

Alachua, Broward, Citrus, DeSoto, Duval, Escambia, Holmes, Indian River, Marion, Miami-Dade, Pinellas, & Volusia counties

Failed

Gymnocorymbus ternetzi

Black Tetra

Hillsborough County

Failed

Hyphessobrycon eques

Serpae Tetra

Bay County

Failed

Metynnis sp.

Metynnis

Collier & Martin counties, elsewhere

Established (Martin Co.)

Failed (Collier Co.)

Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae

Redeye Tetra

Hillsborough County

Failed

Piaractus brachypomus

Pirapatinga, Red-Bellied Pacu

Alachua, Brevard, DeSoto, Hillsborough, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Sarasota, St. Lucie, & Walton counties

Unknown (Monroe Co.)

Failed (all other counties)

Piaractus mesopotamicus

Small-Scaled Pacu

Lee County

Failed

Pygocentrus nattereri

Red Piranha

Miami-Dade & Palm Beach counties

Failed (Miami-Dade Co.)

Eradicated (Palm-Beach Co.)

Pygocentrus or Serrasalmus sp.

Unidentified Piranha

Florida (not specified)

Collected

Serrasalmus rhombeus

White Piranha

Alachua & Miami-Dade counties, elsewhere

Eradicated to failed

CICHLIDAE

CICHLIDS

 

 

Aequidens pulcher

Blue Acara

Hillsborough County

Extirpated

Amphilophus citrinellus

Midas Cichlid

Alachua, Broward, Hillsborough, & Miami-Dade counties

Failed (Alachua Co.)

Established (elsewhere)

Archocentrus nigrofasciatus

Convict Cichlid

Alachua & Miami-Dade counties, elsewhere

Failed or eradicated throughout

Astatotilapia calliptera

Eastern Happy

Broward & Palm Beach counties

Established (both counties)

Astronotus ocellatus

Oscar

Much of southern FL

Established

Cichla ocellaris

Butterfly Peacock Bass

Much of southern FL

Established

Cichla temensis

Speckled Pavon

Palm Beach County, elsewhere in southern FL

Failed

Cichlasoma bimaculatum

Black Acara

Much of southern FL

Established

Cichlasoma octofasciata

Jack Dempsey

Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Hillsborough, Indian River, Levy, Manatee, & Palm Beach counties

Established (most counties)

Cichlasoma salvini

Yellowbelly Cichlid

Broward & Miami-Dade counties

Established

Cichlasoma trimaculatum

Threespot Cichlid

Hillsborough & Manatee counties

Failed (Hillsborough Co.)

Extirpated (Manatee Co.)

Cichlasoma urophthalmus

Mayan Cichlid

Much of southern Florida

Established

Geophagus sp.

Eartheater

Miami-Dade County

Failed

Hemichromis letourneuxi

African Jewelfish

Much of southern Florida

Established

Herichthys cyanoguttatum

Rio Grande Cichlid

Brevard, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas, & Polk counties

Established

Heros severus

Banded Cichlid

Broward & Miami-Dade counties

Established

Melanochromis auratus

Golden Mbuna

Hillsborough County

Unknown

Oreochromis aureus

Blue Tilapia

Much of peninsular FL

Established

Oreochromis mossambicus

Mozambique Tilapia

Much of peninsular FL

Established

Oreochromis niloticus

Nile Tilapia

Alachua, Brevard, Gadsden, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Jackson, Osceola, Putnam, & Sarasota counties

Established (Alachua Co.)

Unknown (elsewhere)

Oreochromis sp.

Tilapia Species

Brevard County

Unknown

Oreochromis, Sarotherodon, Tilapia sp.

Tilapia

Glades County, elsewhere

Collected

Parachromis managuensis

Jaguar Guapote

Much of southern FL

Established

Pseudotropheus socolofi

Pindani

Miami-Dade County

Extirpated

Pterophyllum scalare

Freshwater Angelfish

Palm Beach County

Failed

Sarotherodon melanotheron

Blackchin Tilapia

Much of southern FL

Established

Telmatochromis bifrenatus

Lake Tanganyika Dwarf Cichlid

Oklawaha County

Failed

Thorichthys meeki

Firemouth Cichlid

Brevard, Broward, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Miami-Dade, & Palm Beach counties

Established (Broward Co.)

Failed or extirpated (elsewhere)

Tilapia buttikoferi

Zebra Tilapia

Miami-Dade County

Established

Tilapia mariae

Spotted Tilapia

Much of southern FL

Established

Tilapia sp.

Unidentified Tilapia

Brevard County

Established

Tilapia sparrmanii

Banded Tilapia

Hillsborough County, elsewhere

Failed

Tilapia zillii

Redbelly Tilapia

Brevard, Lake, Miami-Dade, & Polk counties

Established (Brevard & Miami-Dade Co.)

Extirpated or failed (elsewhere)

CLARIIDAE

LABYRINTH CATFISHES

 

 

Clarias batrachus

Walking Catfish

Much of southern FL

Established

COBITIDAE

LOACHES

 

 

Misgurnus anguillicaudatus

Oriental Weatherfish

Much of southern FL

Established

Pangio kuhlii

Coolie Loach

Hillsborough County

Failed

CYPRINIDAE

CARPS AND MINNOWS

 

 

Barbonymus schwanenfeldii

Tinfoil Barb

Palm Beach County, elsewhere

Failed

Carassius auratus

Goldfish

Alachua, Clay, Miami-Dade, & Putnam counties

Unknown

Ctenopharyngodon idella

Grass Carp

Throughout FL

Stocked as triploid, no evidence of establishment

Cyprinus carpio

Common Carp

Much of northern FL

Established

Danio rerio

Zebra Danio

Hillsborough & Palm Beach counties

Failed

Devario malabaricus

Malabar Danio

Hillsborough & Miami-Dade counties, elsewhere

Failed

Hybopsis cf. winchelli

Undescribed Clear Chub

Gadsden County

Failed

Hypophthalmichthys nobilis

 

Bighead Carp

Bay & Palm Beach counties

Failed

Labeo chrysophekadion

Black Sharkminnow, Black Labeo

Not specified

Failed

Leuciscus idus

Ide

Not specified

Failed

Luxilus chrysocephalus isolepis

Striped Shiner

Escambia & Santa Rosa counties

Established

Nocomis leptocephalus bellicus

Bluehead Chub

Escambia & Santa Rosa counties

Established

Notemigonus crysoleucas

Golden Shiner

Ochlocknee drainage

Established

Notropis baileyi

Rough Shiner

Escambia & Santa Rosa counties

Established

Notropis harperi

Redeye Chub

Leon County

Failed

Pethia conchonius

Rosy Barb

Palm Beach County, elsewhere

Failed

Pethia gelius

Dwarf Barb

Palm Beach County, elsewhere

Failed

Pimephales promelas

Fathead Minnow

Hillsborough, Leon, Marion, Palm Beach, & Polk counties

Unknown or extirpated throughout

Systomus tetrazona

Tiger Barb

Miami-Dade County, elsewhere

Failed

Tinca tinca

Tench

Unspecified

Failed

DORADIDAE

THORNY CATFISHES

 

 

Oxydoras niger

Ripsaw Catfish

Miami-Dade County

Failed

Platydoras costatus

Raphael Catfish

Unspecified

Collected

Pterodoras granulosus

Granulated Catfish

Pinellas County

Failed

Pterodoras sp.

Thorny Catfish

Pinellas County

Failed

Platax orbicularis

Orbiculate Batfish

Broward, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, & Palm Beach counties

Eradicated to unknown

ERYTHRINIDAE

TRAHIRAS

 

 

Hoplias malabaricus

Trahira

Hillsborough County

Eradicated

GRAMMATIDAE

BASSLETS

 

 

Gramma loreto

Fairy Basslet

Atlantic Ocean off Broward, Monroe, Palm Beach, & Duval counties; also in Gulf of Mexico (unspecified counties)

Established (throughout)

HELOSTOMATIDAE

KISSING GOURAMIES

 

 

Helostoma temminkii

Kissing Gourami

Hillsborough & Palm Beach counties

Failed

HEMISCYLLIIDAE

BAMBOOSHARKS

 

 

Chiloscyllium punctatum

Brownbanded Bambooshark

Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach County

Unknown, not likely to be established

HEPTAPTERIDAE

SEVEN-FINNED CATFISHES

 

 

Rhamdia quelen

Bagre

Miami-Dade County

Failed

Rhamdia sp.

Bagre De Rio

Miami-Dade County

Unknown

ICTALURIDAE

NORTH AMERICAN CATFISHES

 

 

Ictalurus furcatus

Blue Catfish

Calhoun, Escambia, Gilchrist, Okaloosa, & Washington counties, elsewhere in northern FL

Established (most of area)

Failed (Okaloosa Co.)

Unknown (Washington Co.)

Pylodictis olivaris

Flathead Catfish

Calhoun, Escambia, Liberty, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Walton, & Washington counties, elsewhere in northern FL

Established (several areas)

Failed or unknown elsewhere

LORICARIIDAE

SUCKERMOUTH ARMORED CATFISHES

 

 

Ancistrus sp.

Bristlenosed Catfish

Miami-Dade County

Established

Farlowella vittata

Twig Catfish

Hillsborough County

Unknown

Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps

Leopard Pleco

Alachua County

Unknown

Hypostomus plecostomus

Suckermouth Catfish

Broward, DeSota, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, & Polk counties

Established (most of area)

Unknown (Hillsborough Co.)

Hypostomus sp.

Suckermouth Catfish

Hillsborough, Martin, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Pinellas, & Seminole counties, elsewhere

Established (throughout)

Pterygoplichthys anisitsi

Paraná Sailfin Catfish

Brevard, Marion, Okeechobee, & St. Johns counties

Established

Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus

Vermiculated Sailfin Catfish

Much of southern FL

Established

Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus

Orinoco Sailfin Catfish

Much of southern FL

Established

Pterygoplichthys pardalis

Amazon Sailfin Catfish

DeSota, Glades, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Sarasota, & St. Lucie counties

Established

Pterygoplichthys sp.

Sailfin Catfish

Much of central and southern FL

Established (much of area)

MASTACEMBELIDAE

FRESHWATER SPINY EELS

 

 

Macrognathus siamensis

Spotfin Spiny Eel

Miami-Dade & Monroe counties

Established (throughout)

MORONIDAE

TEMPERATE BASSES

 

 

Morone chrysops

White Bass

Much of peninsular FL

Established

Morone chrysops x M. saxatilis

Sunshine Bass

Much of northern and central FL

Stocked

Morone saxatilis

Striped Bass

Gadsden, Hernando, Lake, Martin, Orange, Polk, & Walton counties

Established (Gadsden, Hernando, Polk, & Walton counties)

Failed, extirpated, or collected (elsewhere)

NOTOPTERIDAE

FEATHERFIN KNIFEFISHES

 

 

Chitala ornata

Clown Knifefish

Lake, Palm Beach, & Pinellas counties

Failed (Lake & Pinellas Co.)

Established (Palm Beach Co.)

OSPHRONEMIDAE

GOURAMIES

 

 

Betta splendens

Siamese Fighting Fish

Manatee & Palm Beach counties, elsewhere

Failed (throughout)

Colisa fasciata

Banded Gourami

Not specified

Failed

Colisa labiosa

Thicklipped Gourami

Hillsborough County

Failed

Colisa lalia

Dwarf Gourami

Hillsborough & Palm Beach counties

Failed

Macropodus opercularis

Paradise Fish

Palm Beach County

Failed

Osphronemus goramy

Giant Gourami

Not specified

Collected

Trichogaster leerii

Pearl Gourami

Palm Beach County

Failed

Trichogaster trichopterus

Three-Spot Gourami

Miami-Dade & Palm Beach counties

Failed

Trichopsis vittata

Croaking Gourami

Palm Beach County

Established

OSTEOGLOSSIDAE

AROWANAS

 

 

Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

Silver Arowana

Broward, Monroe, & Osceola counties

Failed

PANGASIIDAE

SHARK CATFISHES

 

 

Pangasianodon hypophthalmus

Iridescent Shark

Hillsborough County, elsewhere

Failed

PERCIDAE

PERCHES AND DARTERS

 

 

Perca flavescens

Yellow Perch

Gadsden & Liberty counties, Apalachicola drainage

Established

Sander canadensis

Sauger

Gadsden County

Established

Sander vitreus

Walleye

Orange County

Failed

PIMELODIDAE

LONG-WHISKERED CATFISHES

 

 

Leiarius marmoratus

(no common name)

Miami-Dade County

Unknown

Phractocephalus hemioliopterus

Redtail Catfish

Bay County, elsewhere

Failed

POECILIIDAE

LIVEBEARERS

 

 

Belonesox belizanus

Pike Killifish

Much of southern FL

Established (throughout)

Gambusia affinis

Western Mosquitofish

Alachua County

Failed

Poecilia kykesis

Péten Molly

Hillsborough & Palm Beach counties

Failed

Poecilia latipunctata

Tamesí Molly

Hillsborough County

Failed

Poecilia reticulata

Guppy

Alachua, Brevard, Hillsborough, & Palm Beach counties

Unknown (Alachua Co.)

Failed (Brevard Co.)

Extirpated (Hillsborough & Palm Beach Co.)

Poecilia sphenops

Mexican Molly

Not specified

Failed

Xiphophorus hellerii

Green Swordtail

Brevard, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Palm Beach, Polk, & St. Johns counties

Established (throughout)

Xiphophorus hellerii x X. maculatus

Red Swordtail

Brevard & Hillsborough counties

Established

Xiphophorus hellerii x X. variatus

Platyfish/Swordtail

Not specified

Locally established

Xiphophorus maculatus

Southern Platyfish

Alachua, Brevard, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Palm Beach, & St. Lucie counties

Established (throughout except Indian River & Manatee Co.)

Unknown (Indian River & Manatee Co.)

Xiphophorus sp.

Platyfish

Brevard & Hillsborough counties

Unknown (Brevard Co.)

Established (Hillsborough Co.)

Xiphophorus variatus

Variable Platyfish

Alachua, Brevard,  Hillsborough, Manatee, Marian, Miami-Dade, & Palm Beach counties

Established (throughout)

Xiphophorus xiphidium

Swordtail Platyfish

Not specified

Collected

POLYODONTIDAE

PADDLEFISHES

 

 

Polyodon spathula

Paddlefish

Jackson County & Apalachicola River

Failed

POLYPTERIDAE

BICHIRS

 

 

Polypterus delhezi

Barred Bichir

Broward County

Failed

POMACANTHIDAE

ANGELFISHES

 

 

Pomacanthus annularis

Blue Ringed Angelfish

Broward County

Unknown

Pomacanthus asfur

Arabian Angel

Broward County

Unknown

Pomacanthus imperator

Emperor Angelfish

Broward & Miami-Dade counties

Unknown

Pomacanthus maculosus

Yellowbar Angelfish

Broward & Palm Beach counties

Unknown

Pomacanthus semicirculatus

Semicircle Angelfish

Broward & Palm Beach counties

Unknown

Pomacanthus xanthometopon

Bluefaced Angel

Broward County

Unknown

POMACENTRIDAE

DAMSELFISHES

 

 

Dascyllus aruanus

Whitetail Damselfish

Palm Beach County

Eradicated

Dascyllus trimaculatus

Three Spot Damselfish

Palm Beach County

Unknown

Salmonidae

Salmon and Trout

 

 

Oncorhynchus mykiss

Rainbow Trout

Okaloosa & Walton counties

Stocked (1968)

Salmo trutta

Brown Trout

Not specified

Failed

SCATOPHAGIDAE

SCATS

 

 

Scatophagus argus

Scat

Levy & Martin counties

Collected

SCORPAENIDAE

SCORPIONFISHES

 

 

Pterois volitans &

P. miles (combined here due to morphological similarity)

Red Lionfish &

Devil Firefish

Throughout much of the Atlantic coast of Florida, nearshore to at least 60 miles offshore, less commonly encountered along the Gulf coast

Established (Atlantic coast)

Likely established (Gulf coast [see Schofeild 2010 for more info.])

Serranidae

Sea Basses

 

 

Cephalopholis argus

Peacock Hind

Broward, Monroe, & Palm Beach counties

Unknown

Chromileptes altivelis

Panther Grouper

Brevard, Broward, Palm Beach, & Pinellas counties

Unknown

Epinephelus ongus

White-Streaked Grouper

Palm Beach County

Unknown

SYNBRANCHIDAE

SWAMP EELS

 

 

Monopterus albus

Asian Swamp Eel

Hillsborough, Manatee, & Miami-Dade counties

Established (throughout)

TETRAODONTIDAE

PUFFERS

 

 

Arothron diadematus

Masked Pufferfish

Palm Beach County

Failed

ZANCLIDAE

MOORISH IDOLS

 

 

Zanclus cornutus

Moorish Idol

Monroe & Palm Beach counties

Unknown

Sources: Schofield (2010), USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species online database (http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpeciesList.aspx?group=Fishes&state=FL&Sortby=1)

Exhibit 3 of JCS Introduced Fishes Writeup 012815

Below is a link to an interactive map showing the spread of the Red Lionfish and the Devil Firefish in the western North Atlantic from the 1980s to 2013:

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheets/LionfishAnimation.aspx

Sources:

Adams, C.R. and N.M. Steigerwalt.  2010.  Research Needs and Logistic Impediments in Restoration, Enhancement, and Management Projects: A Survey of Land Managers. Publication ENH1161 [online resource]. Environmental Horticulture Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Accessed 11/21/10 at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep423.

Didham, R.H., J.M. Tylianakis, M.A. Hutchison, R.M. Ewers, and N.J. Gemmell. 2005. Are invasive species the drivers of ecological change? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20(9):470–474.

Elton, C.S. 1958. The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants. Methuen and Co., Ltd., Strand, London.

Idelberger, C.F., C.J. Stafford, and S.E. Erickson.  2011.  Distribution and abundance of introduced fishes in Florida’s Charlotte Harbor estuary.  Gulf and Caribbean Research 23:13–22.

Sala, O.E. F.S. Chapin, J.J. Armesto, E. Berlow, J. Bloomfield, R. Dirzo, E. Huber-Sanwald, L.F. Huenneke, R.B. Jackson, A. Kinzig, R. Leemans, D.M. Lodge, H.A. Mooney, M. Oesterheld, N.L. Poff, M.T. Sykes, B.H. Walker, M. Walker, and D.H. Wall. 2000. Global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100. Science 287:1770–1774.

Schofield, P.J.  2010. Update on geographic spread of invasive lionfishes (Pterois volitans [Linnaeus, 1758] and P. miles [Bennett, 1928]) in the western North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Aquatic Invasions 5, Supplement 1:S117–S122.  http://www.aquaticinvasions.net/2010/Supplement/AI_2010_5_S1_Schofield

U.S. Geological Survey.  2015. NAS – Nonindigenous Aquatic Species [online resource].  Accessed 01/23/15 at http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/CollectionInfo.aspx?SpeciesID=963&State=FL.

Villazon, K.A. 2009. Methods to Restore Native Plant Communities after Invasive Species Removal: Marl Prairie Ponds and an Abandoned Phosphate Mine in Florida. MS thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Vitousek, P.M., C.M. D’Antonio, L.L. Loope, and R. Westbrooks. 1996. Biological invasions as global environmental change. American Scientist 84:468–478.

Vitousek, P.M., H.A. Mooney, J. Lubchenco, and J.M. Melillo. 1997. Human domination of Earth’s ecosystem. Science 277:494–499.

Wilcove, D.S., D. Rothstein, J. Dubow, A. Phillips, and E. Losos.  1998.  Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States. Bioscience 48:607–615.

 

 

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Gainesville Hosts 3rd Annual “Great Invader Raider Rally”

coral ardisia

This Saturday, January 28, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, the City of Gainesville will host the 3rd annual “Great Invader Raider Rally”. The rally is a 1-day volunteer-powered event to remove trash and non-native invasive plant life from around Gainesville’s city parks. The first portion of the event will be the clean-up effort and will take place from 9:00 to 11:00 am in pre-selected natural areas around Gainesville. The second portion of the event will be the celebration and will take place from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Morningside Nature Center. The celebration will feature live music from local band “Wax Wings” as well as prizes from local businesses to honor the top volunteers of 2016. All volunteers in this event must be registered. Registration ended January 27 with a whopping 913 participants registered! As a thank you, all participants will receive a commemorative Raider Rally t-shirt designed by local artist Molly Kempson and will feel gratified in knowing that local plant life now has a better chance to prosper.

The “Great Invader Raider Rally” is part of the “Gainesville Greenway Challenge” (GGC), a community/volunteer based invasive species removal effort, with participants meeting the first Saturday of every month. GGC funding is provided by a grant from Environmental Solutions for Communities, which is a $15 million 5-year initiative launched in 2012 by Wells Fargo Bank and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

“We are excited to have 913 volunteers to help remove extensive amounts of Coral ardisia tomorrow morning! With this many volunteers we can really put a dent in the invasive species population, which will allow our native ecosystems to thrive once again!”

-Kentucky Costellow

Recreation Leader

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department

City of Gainesville

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EPA Proposes 90 Day Public Comment Period Concerning Revisions to the National Contingency Plan; Subpart J which Allows the Use of Oil-Dispersing Agents during Oil Spills

EPA Proposes 90 Day Public Comment Period Concerning Revisions to the National Contingency Plan; Subpart J which Allows the Use of Oil-Dispersing Agents during Oil Spills

 

On January 22, 2015, EPA released proposed revisions to the National Contingency Plan; specifically Subpart J (Product Schedule) which governs the use of spill-mitigating substances (including dispersants and other biological and chemical agents) in response to oil discharged into navigable U.S. waters. The agency’s proposal adds new criteria to the NCP Product Schedule, revises toxic testing protocols; amends requirements for authority notifications, monitoring, and data reporting; and clarifies the evaluations needed to remove products from the schedule. The last revision to the National Contingency Plan occurred in response to the passage of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. To learn more, check out the Subpart J Proposed Rule Summary.

Public comments will be accepted only through the official docket: EPA-HA-OPA-2006-0090.

Photo above courtesy of NASA's Tara Satellites. The photo was taken on May 24, 2010 of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

 

 

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ANAMAR's Recent Work Profiled in International Dredging Review

ANAMAR's Recent Work Profiled in International Dredging Review

ANAMAR’s recent work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers–Jacksonville District to sample Jacksonville Harbor has been profiled in International Dredging Review.  The project is part of the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening, one of the five major ports mentioned in President Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” initiative from 2012.  Check out the International Dredging Review news article to learn more!

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REQUIREMENTS FOR MPRSA OCEAN DISPOSAL EVALUATIONS

REQUIREMENTS FOR MPRSA OCEAN DISPOSAL EVALUATIONS

The following information was taken directly from Appendix C of the SERIM (EPA and USACE 2008; see the reference at the end of the article) and is required for completion of an MPRSA Section 103 evaluation.

Information should not be repeated, but referenced where material is needed for more than one part of the evaluation documentation.

1. Dredging and Disposal Project Information

a.  A map showing dredging locations/boundaries and delineating dredging units. Shall include range stations to adequately delineate project limits

b.  Core boring logs (if available) and other historical and current sampling stations keyed to the map

c.  Volume of material to be dredged by dredging unit

d.  Percentage of fine-, medium-, and coarse-grained material by dredging unit

e.  Bathymetric information for the channel to be dredged with the project dredging depth contour highlighted

f.   Design depth (including overdredge depth or advance maintenance) and width for each dredging unit or project reach

g.  Expected method(s) of dredging, transport, and disposal of material

h.  Expected start, duration and end of dredging, transport, and disposal of material

i.   Proposed disposal location (or zone) within the ODMDS

j.   Historical compliance with ODMDS site designation and SMMP conditions

2. Exclusionary Criteria - 40CFR §227.13(b) [Tier I]

a.  Rationale for meeting the exclusionary criteria (choose one):

i.   The dredged material is composed predominately of sand, gravel, rock, or any other naturally occurring bottom material with particle sizes larger than silt, and the material is found in areas of high current or wave energy

(1)  Grain sizes of the dredged material (from 1d above)

(2)  Current data from current meters or tide gauges (if available)

ii.   The material is substantially the same as the substrate at the disposal site and the dredging site is far removed from sources of pollution so as to provide a reasonable assurance that such material has not been contaminated by such pollution.

(1)  Grain sizes of the dredged material (from 1d above)

(2)  Grain sizes of the material at the disposal site

(3)  Locations to (keyed map), quantities, and types of pollutants discharged upstream of the dredging area (see Section 3.1.1 of the RIM for data sources)

(4)  Results of previous testing in the area demonstrating lack of contamination

b.  If one of the exclusionary criteria is met, items 3 through 6 below need not be addressed.

3. Need for Testing (Tier I)

a.  Site history narrative including potential sources of contamination

b.  Locations (keyed to map), quantities, and types of pollutants discharged upstream of the dredging area (see Section 3.1.1 of the RIM for data sources)

c.  History of dredging in area

d.  Summary of the past physical, chemical, and biological tests including a narrative description of past suitability determinations

e.  Maps showing all past sampling stations (from 1b above)

f.   Description of any events that have occurred since the last sampling or dredging event that might influence sediment chemistry or bioassay results

4. Water Column Determinations - 40CFR §227.6(c)(1) and 227.27(a) and Suspended Particulate Phase Determination - 40 CFR §227.6(c)(2) and 227.27(b) [Tiers II-III]

a.  Evaluation of the Liquid Phase - Water Quality Criteria Choose one of the following:

i.   Sediment Chemistry Screen

(1) Table showing for and analyte: sediment chemistry value, each station estimated elutriate concentration, background concentration, applicable marine water quality criteria or standard, and the required dilution to achieve the criteria/standard

(2) ADDAMS STFATE result (if required) for the contaminate requiring the most dilution

(3) Sediment testing report (or)

ii.   Elutriate Analysis

(1) Table showing for each station and analyte: elutriate concentration, background concentration, applicable marine water quality criteria or standard, and the required dilution to achieve the criteria/standard

(2) ADDAMS STFATE result (if required) for the contaminate requiring the most dilution. Include any special disposal practices (e.g., minimum distances from site boundaries, tidal state, current magnitude/direction) that must be instituted to assure compliance.

(3) Elutriate chemistry testing report

b.  Liquid and Suspended Phase Bioassays

i.   Comparison of 100% dredged material elutriate control and dilution water (if not significantly more toxic, items ii and iii below are not required)

ii.   LC50/EC50 for each station where 100% elutriate is toxic

iii.  ADDAMS STFATE results for station with lowest LC50/EC50. Include any special disposal practices (e.g., minimum distances from site boundaries, tidal state, current magnitude/direction) that must be instituted to assure compliance

iv.  Elutriate bioassay testing report

5. Benthic Screen (optional) [Tier II]

a.  Tier II tests for benthic impact evaluation should be used only to screen out sediments that are not likely to meet the criteria or to assist in selecting a compositing or testing scheme under Tier III.

i.   Theoretical Bioaccumulation Potential (TBP) calculation

ii.   Sediment testing report

6. Benthic Determinations - 40 CFR§227.6(c)(3) and 227.27(b) [Tier III]

a   Benthic Toxicity Evaluation

b.  Benthic Bioavailability Evaluation

i.   28-day bioaccumulation exposure

ii.   Tissue chemical analysis

iii.  Comparison with FDA Action Levels and tissues exposed to the reference and risk-based analysis as required

iv.  Sediment testing report

7. Non-Testing Related Regulatory Issues: Subparts B,C,D and E of 40CFR§227

a.  Subpart B - Environmental Impact

i.   §227.4 Criteria for Evaluating Environmental Impact

ii.   §227.5 Prohibited Materials

iii.  §227.7 Limits established for specific wastes or waste constituents

- address presence of pathogens, biological pests, non-indigenous species

iv.  §227.8 Limitations on the Disposal Rates of Toxic Wastes; §227.11 Containerized Wastes; and §227.12 Insoluble Wastes

v.  §227.9 Limitations on Quantities of Waste Materials

- include project volumes

- provide site capacity if determined

vi.  §227.10 Hazards to Fishing, Navigation, Shorelines, or Beaches -reference appropriate section(s) of the site designation EIS/EA if necessary

b.  Subpart C - Need for Ocean Dumping

i.   For federal projects, provide authorization and reference Feasibility Study or other NEPA document providing assessment of disposal alternatives.

ii.   For non-federal projects, the alternative disposal alternatives should be summarized and assessed. The final determination is made in the USACE Statement of Findings on whether or not to grant the permit.

c.  Subpart D - Impact of the Proposed Dumping on Aesthetic, Recreational, and Economic Values

i.   Reference appropriate section(s) of the site designation EIS/EA to address potential impacts of disposal at the site on recreational fisheries, commercial fisheries, shore recreation, and cultural resources with regard to disposal of dredged material at the site.

ii. Address visible characteristics.

iii. Address presence of toxics and bioaccumulative chemicals (reference 6 above).

iv. Address pathogens (reference 7.a.iii above).

d.  Subpart E - Impact of the Proposed Dumping on other Uses of the Ocean -reference appropriate section(s) of the site designation EIS/EA

8. MPRSA Section 103 Conditions

a.  Requirements (management options) to meet the Ocean Disposal Criteria

i.   Disposal zones or minimum distances from the disposal site boundaries

ii.   Ambient disposal conditions (e.g., current or tidal conditions)

iii.  Limits on disposal vessel size or discharge rates

b.  Requirements necessary to meet site designation conditions

i.   Grain size limitations

ii.   See 40CFR Section 228.15(h)

c.  Requirements necessary to meet the requirements of the disposal site SMMP.

i.   Disposal zones

ii.   Limits on oceanographic conditions for disposal

iii.  Disposal monitoring requirements

iv.  Reporting requirements

d.  All conditions must be implemented through permit conditions or contract specifications for federal projects. The draft permit conditions/contract specification must be included as part of the MPRSA Ocean Disposal Evaluation Documentation. These are typically available from the SMMP.

 

Citation:

USEPA/USACE. 2008. Southeast Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM) for Requirements and Procedures for Evaluation of the Ocean Disposal of Dredged Material in Southeastern U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast Waters. EPA 904-B-08-001. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, GA.

            http://www.epa.gov/region4/water/oceans/documents/SERIM_Final_August 2008.pdf

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Understanding the Linkage between Harmful Algae Blooms and Bird Deaths

Understanding the Linkage between Harmful Algae Blooms and Bird Deaths

In 2007, hundreds of migratory birds were mysteriously found stranded or dead in Monterey Bay, California.  This was the beginning of a quest that brought together specialists who helped discover the link between algae blooms and bird strandings. A red tide caused by a type of marine plankton called Akashiwo sanguinea had been occurring during this massive bird mortality event in Monterey Bay, but researchers were finding it hard to link the two events and identify the actual culprit until tests were performed on an abundant substance found throughout the bay area--sea foam. Tests performed on the foam determined that the algae was in fact nontoxic, but the foam created by the churning of decaying organisms was impairing the water repellency of the birds’ feathers (similar to the effect detergent would have on them) and allowing the underlying skin to be exposed, thus leading to hypothermia.

Because of research following events such as the 2007 incident in Monterey Bay, many organizations and government agencies now understand the significance of monitoring our ocean currents and algae blooms in real time, which in turn will hopefully lead to better mitigation of future scenarios. You can read more about the Monterey Bay study at PLOS One, an online research journal.

Sources:

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/seafoam.html

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/weeklynews/mar09/algalfoam.html

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004550

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A Brief Summary of Laurel Wilt Disease in Florida and the Southeastern United States

A Brief Summary of Laurel Wilt Disease in Florida and the Southeastern United States

Recently, there has been considerable interest and research regarding the laurel wilt disease, which affects members of the Lauraceae family, most notably red bay (Persea borbonia) and swamp bay (Persea palustris).  This article attempts to summarize the aspects of this disease that are of particular interest to land owners and land managers of Florida and elsewhere in the southeastern United States.

The Story of the Ambrosia Beetle, a Symbiotic Fungus, and the Disease Called Laurel Wilt

The disease Laurel wilt is spread by a nonindigenous beetle called the Asian red bay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus.  This beetle measures only about 2 mm in length and is cigar-shaped and amber-brown to black in color.  This species has significantly less hair on its dorsal surface and is shinier than other species of ambrosia beetles.  The female ambrosia beetle spreads a nonindigenous fungus, Raffaelea lauricola, into the sapwood of a tree by boring pinhole-sized holes into the branches or trunk and either actively or passively depositing spores of the fungus in the tunnels.  The fungal spores are carried by the beetle in specialized pouch-like structures called ‘mycangia’ that are located at the base of each mandible.  Both adult and larval ambrosia beetles feed on the fungus growing in the tunnels.  Larvae are white with an amber-colored head.  Unlike most other species of ambrosia beetle, which attack dead or dying trees, the Asian red bay ambrosia beetle attacks healthy trees.  The native range of the fungus includes India, Japan, Taiwan, Burma, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.  As you probably guessed, the Asian red bay ambrosia beetle is native to Asia, including the same countries that the fungus is native to. 

The exact mechanism that causes death to a tree infected with the fungus and symbiont ambrosia beetle to die is unknown.  In simplified terms, the death of the tree is the result of it over-reacting to the presence of the pathogen.

The ambrosia beetle and associated fungus are thought to have arrived in the United States from Asia in untreated wood (such as wooden pallets) or in logs.  They were first detected in the United States in Port Wentworth near Savannah, Georgia, in May 2002.  The disease has since spread throughout the Southeast, from North Carolina south to Florida and west to Mississippi.

Relative Infestations of Laurel Wilt Disease among Infected States

State

Area of Coverage

Notes

Alabama

A few counties in the southwestern portion of the state

First detected in the state in 2011

Florida

Throughout most of the state

First detected in the state in 2005.  Not yet detected in some counties of the panhandle and in some the southwestern portion of the state

Georgia

Many counties in the southeastern portion of the state

First detected in the state in 2002, in Port Wentworth near Savannah

Mississippi

A few counties in the extreme southern part of the state

First detected in the state in 2009

North Carolina

Six counties in the southeastern portion of the state

First detected in the state in 2011

South Carolina

Many counties in the southern and eastern portions of the state

First detected in the state in 2004

What Tree Species Does Laurel Wilt Infect?

Although the beetle is named Asian red bay ambrosia beetle, it actually infects several other species, including both native trees and introduced trees of importance to the agricultural and ornamental plant industries.  Below is a list of species known to be susceptible to Laurel wilt.

Trees and Shrubs Known or Suspected to be Susceptible to Laurel Wilt Disease

Common Name

Scientific Name

Notes

Avocado

Persea americana

Introduced, important agricultural crop, important also to the ornamental plant trade

Lancewood

Ocotea coriacea

May be less susceptible to the disease than other members of the family, based on preliminary testing

Northern spicebush

Lindera benzoin

Pondspice

Litsea aestivalis

State-listed as endangered in Florida; demonstrated experimentally to be susceptible to the disease

Red bay

Persea borbonia

Sustained significant mortality due to the disease

Sassafrass

Sassafras albidum

Swamp bay
(incl. silk bay)

Persea palustris

Sustained significant mortality due to the disease

Southern spicebush (AKA pondberry)

Lindera melissifolia

State-listed as endangered in Florida; demonstrated experimentally to be susceptible to the disease

Summary of the Biology and Symptoms of Laurel Wilt Disease

The female ambrosia beetle, attracted to the smell of a red bay tree, bores into the branches or trunk of the tree and deposits spores of the fungus in the tunnels.  Initial symptoms are wilting of the leaves.  Often, wilting is seen in all the leaves associated with the distal portion of an infected branch.  More and more leaves begin to wilt over time as the disease progresses.  Mild discoloration may be seen in the sapwood and can escalate to extensive black/brown streaking over time.  Frass tubes, looking like white bent straws sticking out from the bark, begin to appear months later as beetle activity increases.  It can take as little as a week for a tree to die from laurel wilt during the warm summer months.

Both adult ambrosia beetles and their larvae feed on the fungus growing in the tunnels.  It takes some 30 days from the time the eggs hatch to the development of adult ambrosia beetles.  Males are smaller than females, lack wings, and are haploid.  Females are winged and are diploid.  The fungus can remain alive inside a standing dead tree for at least 1 year according to recent research.  The biology of laurel wilt disease remains poorly understood, and there is significant research to be done to understand the mechanisms involved in susceptibility and resistance.

Management and Prevention of Laurel Wilt Disease

It is no longer logistically feasible to eradicate or stop the progression of the disease considering how widely distributed it is in the southeastern United States.  However, one way to slow the spread on a given site is to cut down and chip dead trees killed by the disease and place the wood chips into piles.  The fungus was found to die about 2 days following chipping, and the ambrosia beetle population of the tree was found to be reduced by 99% following chipping.  The chipping will also reduce the wood available for female beetles to reproduce.

Use of the fungicide propiconazole (Alamo®), injected into the tree, was found to be only mildly effective (approximately 60% survivorship) at protecting red bay trees from the disease.  This treatment is expensive and testing for use against Laurel wilt has been limited so far.  Best results are achieved by systemic injection before any symptoms of the disease are observed on the tree and the pruning of any diseased areas following treatment.  Another method of injecting fungicide, developed by Arborjet®, involves delivering smaller amounts of fungicide using microinjectors.  The results of the effectiveness of the Arborjet® method have not been published as of this writing.  Similarly, the results of the effectiveness of applying fungicide to the soil around a tree have yet to be published.  Fungicides should be administered only by a knowledgeable professional or by the homeowner and in accordance with the instructions and mixing rates on the label.

Insecticides are unlikely to be useful at protecting a tree again the ambrosia beetle.  Broadcast spraying would be harmful to the environment and to beneficial insects, is not likely to be effective against the ambrosia beetle, and is therefore strongly discouraged. 

An attempt was made to protect some trees in Volusia County, Florida, by spraying Pinesol® as a way of “hiding” the trees from detection by the ambrosia beetle.  Pinesol® spraying took place at about 6‑ to 10‑week intervals.  However, all treated trees eventually contracted the disease and subsequently died.  It is possible that baits may be developed in the future that may be more attractive to the beetles than are the trees, but at this point in time no compounds have been identified for use as baits.

Anyone can help reduce the spread of the ambrosia beetle and the associated Laurel Wilt disease.  Refrain from moving untreated firewood far distances.  The State of Florida prohibits movement of untreated firewood farther than 50 miles within the state.  When camping, buy only local firewood or use certified firewood rather than bringing your own.  When traveling abroad, do not bring back untreated wood products or raw plant parts (including seeds or fruits).

Laurel wilt disease is one of at least a dozen tree diseases and insect pests within Florida or neighboring states.  Minimizing the movement of untreated wood and firewood can help reduce the spread of insect pests and diseases such as the emerald ash borer (kills ash trees), Asian longhorned beetle (kills maples), oak wilt and bot canker of oaks (kills oaks), spiraling whitefly (kills several native and ornamental trees), walnut twig beetle and thousand-cankers disease (kills walnuts), sudden oak death (kills oaks), and others.  The reader is encouraged to visit the website www.dontmovefirewood.org for more information.  

Sources and Further Reading:

Global Invasive Species Database.  2010.  Global Invasive Species Database, Raffaelea lauricola (fungus) [online database].  Accessed 10/17/2014 at http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=1549&lang=EN.

Global Invasive Species Database.  2010.  Global Invasive Species Database, Xyleborus glabratus (insect) [online database].  Accessed 10/17/2014 at http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=1536.

Spence, D. and J. Smith.  2013.  The status of Laurel Wilt.  Palmetto 30(3):4–5, 8–10. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.  2013.  Laurel Wilt Distribution Map [online resource].  Accessed 10/17/2014 at http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/foresthealth/laurelwilt/dist_map.shtml.

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A Perspective on the Temperature of Earth’s Climate

A Perspective on the Temperature of Earth’s Climate

 

It has never been easier to gain perspective of the changes in Earth’s climate, be it past, present, or future. Scientists today use proxies such as tree rings, corals, ocean and lake sediments, cave deposits, ice cores, fossils, boreholes, and glaciers to calculate historical changes. According to NOAA, the one steady factor that Earth’s climatic records indicate is constant change. The compilation of these changes with present-day data can begin to paint a diagram for the rate at which temperature will progressively change.

NOAA has been conducting studies using various data to compile a graph to present a pattern of temperature variability over the last 500 to 2000 years. The graph pictured shows temperature patterns over a nearly-2000-year span.

 

Source:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/paleolast.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Curious Life of a Florida Cicada

The Curious Life of a Florida Cicada

 

Cicadas bring me back to a nostalgic moment in my life, so I will start this blog with a personal anecdote. It was the summer of 92’. I was 7 years old and staying for the summer at my grandparents’ farmhouse in south Georgia. The song “Neon Moon” had just come out and was all the rave. I was standing next to a huge oak tree staring at a cicada shell and wondering if it was alive, wanting to touch it, but scared it would bite me!

The Call

Florida is no stranger to the mesmerizing cicada mating calls, which are produced with timbals (drum-like structures on the sides of the basal abdominal segments) and in most species, only the males have timbals. However, females do occasionally produce soft sounds with their wings. According to the University of Florida’s Featured Creatures, there are 19 known cicada species in Florida. To help identify your neighboring “tree cricket” friends, check out this site for the calls of Florida’s cicadas.

Life Cycle

Some female Florida cicadas lay their eggs on dead twigs where they may not hatch until the next year.  Depending on the species of the mated male, the eggs may be laid on living twigs and will hatch the same year. After hatching, the tiny, pale, ant-sized nymphs will drop to the ground, burrow, and feed on xylem sap from the roots of neighboring plants. While underground, all cicadas molt four times, after which they begin to make their way above the ground where they will anchor their tarsal claws to grasses, forbs, stems, or tree trunks, depending on the size of the cicada. At this point, they will begin their fifth and final molt, leaving their nymphal shell behind. From this final molt, an adult cicada will develop and have the ability to fly and mate. After shedding their final shell, cicadas will continue to feed on plant xylem for the duration of their lives, which is seldom more than a few weeks.

Interesting Facts about Cicadas

Cicada eggs can be quite a nuisance by causing damage to various plant life. Some cicada species remain underground for 13 to 17 years before emerging and becoming adults. Cicadas are eaten in some cultures—their shells are considered ‘Chantui ’ in Chinese medicine and are comprised of an abundance of chitin, which is high in glucosamine and acetylglucosamine. ‘Chantui’ is used to treat such ailments as fever, spasms, convulsions, red eye, Bell’s palsy, measles, skin allergies, tetanus, fever, cataracts, and nephritis.

Sources:

University of Florida, Entomology Department; Featured Creatures ‘Cicadas’. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bugs/cicadas.htm

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/walker/buzz/c700fl1.htm

Institute of Traditional Medicine; ‘Chantui’. http://www.itmonline.org/arts/chantui.htm

 

 

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The EPA Entering Public Comment Period for new Clean Power Plan

The EPA Entering Public Comment Period for new Clean Power Plan

EPA has won a ruling in the Supreme Court on proposing emission guidelines for greenhouse gases emitted by fossil-fuel-fired electric generating units. Although there are limits at power plants for pollutants such as arsenic and mercury, there are no national limits on carbon emissions. On June 2, 2014, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, EPA proposed a Clean Power Plan to cut these emissions. According to EPA’s website, power plants account for one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Within the power sector, the plan is predicted to cut back the emissions by 30% from 2005 levels. The plan will also cut pollutants that cause soot and smog by more than 25% by 2030. According to the website, the plan estimates the public health benefits to be worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion in savings by the year 2030.  Included is the prevention of 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children. The plan is also predicted to shrink power bills by 8% by 2030. During the week of July 28, 2014, EPA will hold four public hearings on the proposed Clean Power Plan in Atlanta, GA; Denver, CO; Pittsburgh, PA; and Washington, DC.

EPA is now holding a public comment period. All public comments on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule must be received by October 16, 2014. Directions for how to comment on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule can be found here.

The Federal Register contains a copy of EPA’s Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule and can be found here.

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NOAA Ocean Exploration Team to Begin the 2014 Expedition

NOAA Ocean Exploration Team to Begin the 2014 Expedition

During June through October, NOAA’s ocean exploration team will begin their 2014 expedition spanning from the Gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean Sea. The team will be live-broadcasting their travels aboard the ocean explorer ship Nautilus and will be using two remotely operated vehicles to obtain an assortment of data from the oceans floor using various methods, including acoustical mapping from high-resolution sonar devices. This mission will delve into various scientific curiosities such as the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, various Gulf of Mexico shipwrecks, and geological hazards in the Caribbean Sea.

You can meet the team and follow the explorations starting June 11 at  www.nautiluslive.org.

 


 

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ANAMAR’s President Nadia Lombardero Co-Presenting a Paper with the Region 4 EPA at 33rd PIANC World Congressional Conference

 Nadia Lombardero is in San Francisco at the 33rd PIANC World Congress where the theme is “Navigating the New Millennium.” Nadia is co-presenting a paper with EPA Region 4 entitled “Monitoring, Assessment and the Remediation of Elevated PCB Levels at a Deepwater ODMDS.”  Ocean Dredge Material Disposal Sites (ODMDS) are critical components of the nation’s navigation requirements and national security.  Disposal site monitoring is a requirement of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA) and is conducted to ensure the environmental integrity of a disposal site and the areas surrounding the site to ensure that contaminants are kept out of the food chain and in compliance with the law.

 

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Interesting Hunting Strategies Found in Nature

Humpback Whales and Bubble Net Feeding

bubble net feeding

One peculiar hunting strategy that humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) use involves the coordinated effort of a few whales, a shoal of fish, and bubbles.  The technique starts with one whale singing an eerie, high-pitched feeding call beneath a shoal of fish while the rest of the whales circle the fish and release bubbles that creates a net-like barrier that disorients the prey.  The combination of high-pitched noise and bubbles drives the prey into a tight group near the surface of the water.  Then the fruition of this coordinated effort occurs when the whales swim together directly up through the middle of their gathered prey with their mouths open, thus yielding a hefty bite.  Now that’s teamwork!

The Stoat and the Freak-out

stoat

The stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the short-tailed weasel, when hunting an animal such as a rabbit, which can be much larger in size, uses a technique that is sometimes informally referred to as the ‘weasel war dance.’  During this performance, the stoat flips around making erratic movements while also honing in on its mesmerized prey, eventually switching gears from the nutty neighbor to the hungry slayer.

Cats in the Cradle

margay 2

The margay (Leopardus wiedii), a neotropical cat native to Central America, has been observed mimicking the vocalizations of rodents, birds, and even primates in order to attract its prey.  Cats are known for their physical agility, but this vocal manipulation of prey species indicates a psychological cunning which merits further study," said study researcher Fabio Rohe, of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Sources:

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Data Reporting for Chemical Testing

(Excerpted from the Southeastern Regional Implementation Manual [SERIM])

 

7.3   Data Reporting for Chemical Testing

All chemical data should be summarized and presented in tabular format. Additionally, all laboratory data should be provided in the Testing Report (see Appendix D) and in electronic tabular format (e.g., spreadsheet, delineated text file). Analytical data reported by the laboratories [with National Environmental Laboratory Association Conference (NELAC) standard qualifiers] must be included in the appendix section of the report.

PCB congeners should be reported as individual congeners as well as total PCBs. Total PCBs should be reported as EPA Region 4 PCBs and as NOAA PCBs. EPA Region 4 PCBs represents the sum of all the PCBs listed in Table 5-6. NOAA PCBs represents the sum of the PCB congeners identified by an asterisk in Table 5-6 and are calculated by the following equation:

              cem. testing photo 1(NOAA, 1989)           [Eq. 7-1]

In addition to the individual PAHs, total PAHs should also be provided as total low molecular weight (LMW) PAHs and total high molecular weight (HMW) PAHs, as described in Table 5-5.

Organotin must be reported as the individual compounds and total organotin. Total organotin should be reported on a tin basis as follows:

chem. testing photo 2[Eq. 7-2]

Refer to Section 5.2 for information on reporting data to the TDLs and LRLs. All data should be certified to be accurate by the analytical laboratory or by a third-party data validator.

Source:

USEPA/USACE. 2008. Southeast Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM) for Requirements and Procedures for Evaluation of the Ocean Disposal of Dredged Material in Southeastern U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast Waters. EPA 904-B-08-001. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, GA.

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Now-Extinct Marine Mammals Found beneath Sediment of Chile’s Pan-American Coastal Highway during Road Construction

Now-Extinct Marine Mammals Found beneath Sediment of Chile’s Pan-American Coastal Highway during Road Construction

Ten species of marine vertebrate were found buried in four separate levels of sedimentation, suggesting their carcasses had washed ashore in what were then tidal flats during four time periods nearly 6 to 9 million years ago. Scientists suggest that the deaths were likely caused by harmful algae blooms. Among the species found were now-extinct walrus-like whales, aquatic sloths, baleen whales, sperm whales and seals.

For more information on these findings, check out the Smithsonian press release:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-02/s-sss022514.php

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Scientists Join with Polynesian Culture and Hope to Circumnavigate the Globe Using Traditional Polynesian Navigational Methods

Scientists Join with Polynesian Culture and Hope to Circumnavigate the Globe Using Traditional Polynesian Navigational Methods

In May 2013, the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) and a Hawaiian canoe club called ʻOhana Wa‘a began a 45,000-mile, 5-year circumnavigation of the world using only traditional Polynesian navigation methods (stars, clouds, waves, wind) unaided by conventional navigational instruments. One of which, the Hōkūle‘a, is double-hulled, 62 feet long, and was designed as a replica of traditional Polynesian canoes. Over the course of the journey, the crew will be partnering with scientists from the University of Hawai’i to conduct five research projects that study fish population, marine acoustics, hydroponics, and the importance of plankton in marine life. In a statement on www.hokulea.org, apprentice navigator Haunani Kane said,

The way that we’re trying to bridge that gap is we’re conducting high-tech modern science on a traditional platform with a traditional mindset. If we can tie it to our culture and try to explain it in a way that’s important to not only Hawai’i but to other parts of the world as well, then we can really try to grab other people’s interest and help them to understand why it’s important to care for the ocean. A lot of the researchers are used to working on these big ships that have a lot of electricity, or freezers, or refrigerators to store their samples, so for us it’s really been about how do we conduct science in a way that doesn’t require a lot of energy and is safe and can be done not just by a scientist, but also by a crew member.”

PVS and ʻOhana Wa‘a are ultimately hoping to build a worldwide network called ‘Tomorrow Ancestor’ compiled of indigenous scientists from around the world.

Check out the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s website to learn more about this circumnavigation: http://hokulea.org/

 'Tomorrow Ancestor' on Tumbler.com: http://tomorrowancestor.tumblr.com/.

 

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What can fossils tell us about the rock surrounding them?

What can fossils tell us about the rock surrounding them?

Fossil scallops in the Coquille River as a case study

During a benthic survey off the Coquille River, Oregon, in September 2013, ANAMAR was collecting samples of epifauna using a 12-foot otter trawl when suddenly the gear encountered unidentified rock. The trawl net snagged and the cable instantly snapped, losing the gear on the seafloor in about 45 feet of water. Although many attempts were made to recover the trawl using a grapple hook off the deck of the survey vessel (R/V Pacific Storm), the gear was too entangled on the seafloor to be brought up with that method. Directly following completion of the benthic survey, an ANAMAR subcontractor returned to the site and recovered the trawl gear using SCUBA divers. The trawl was still in good shape and the remaining trawl tows were completed for the survey. In addition to finding the trawl gear, the divers also observed several fossil scallop shells embedded in the rock on the seafloor. The fossil scallops were in excellent condition (see images below). The divers were able to pry a few of the fossil shells loose for closer inspection and photography.

 

jasons coquille FILEminimizer

 

 

Because the area where the survey took place is an ocean dredged material disposal site (ODMDS), information on the naturally occurring rocks found there is of interest to agencies tasked with managing the site (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). For this reason, and also out of personal interest, I began collaborating with paleontologists to determine the identity of the fossil scallops in the hopes of learning more about the rock they were found in. I soon found my answer after contacting specialists at the Burke Museum of Natural History in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Elizabeth Nesbitt, Curator of Paleontology, graciously identified the fossil scallops as either Patinopecten coosensis or P. oregonensis based on photos I sent her. The flared portions of the shell adjacent to the hinge (called auricles) serve as key characteristics differentiating these two species. These fossils lacked auricles so they could not be identified beyond these two species. However, based on the fossils and the associated matrix, Dr. Nesbitt was able to identify the rock formation the fossils were found in!

The rocks and fossils are part of the Empire Formation which is better known from exposures about 20 miles south of the Coquille River at Cape Blanco, Oregon. The Empire Formation, composed mostly of sandstone, along with the fossils it contains, are as old as 12 million years (Miocene), but it is theorized to be closer to 8 to 5 million years (Miocene-Pliocene epoch boundary). Since we know the identity of the rock as being part of the Empire Formation, we therefore know something about its composition. In this case, the rocks that snagged the trawl gear must have been composed of sandstone and some siltstone. This formation represents sands deposited in what was then a small marine basin which now is represented only by Coos Bay. It is probable that other rocks within the ODMDS are also fossiliferous sandstone/siltstone from the Empire Formation.

The above is an example of how fossils can help us infer the identity of the surrounding substrate. In this case, the identity of the fossil scallops, along with the matrix attached to the fossils, were used to pinpoint the exact formation they represent. Knowing the formation, we then were able to learn more about the composition and approximate geological age of surrounding rocks that represent the same formation. All this information came from observing and collecting a handful of fossils incidental to recovering of some equipment from the seafloor!

Interestingly, the French word for scallop is Coquille. Thus the Coquille River, where the fossils were collected, was actually named after a scallop!

Sources:

Ehlen, J. 1967. Geology of state parks near Cape Arago, Coos County, Oregon. The Ore Bin 29(4):61–82.

Nesbitt, E. Department of Paleontology, Burke Museum of Natural History, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Pers. comm. 12/06/13.

Portell, R.W. Department of Invertebrate Paleontology, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Pers. comm. 11/18/13.

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Data Reporting for Field Collection Activities & Physical Testing

Data Reporting for Field Collection Activities & Physical Testing

(Excerpted from the Southeastern Regional Implementation Manual [SERIM])

Following sampling and testing, data reporting and statistical analysis of the results are necessary to determine the suitability of the proposed dredged material for ocean disposal. Coordination with the USACE SAD district and EPA Region 4 while analyzing the samples and reviewing the test data is recommended. Complete documentation of all laboratory data and statistical analyses must be supplied to the USACE SAD district. The following information supplements Section 13.0 of the 1991 Green Book.

7.1   Data Reporting for Field Collection Activities

General sample collection techniques for sediment and water collection must be documented. The report should include descriptions of positioning equipment, decontamination procedures, in situ measurements, sample processing procedures, compositing schemes, and any problems encountered during field collection activities. Dredged material management units should be provided on a map along with all sediment and water sampling locations. All original field sheets and core logs (if applicable) must be included as an appendix. Photographic documentation of sediment samples is recommended.

A table summarizing all sample collection information should be provided with the following information: sample ID, sampling date and time, coordinates (NAD 83), water depth, depth of water sample(s) collected, core depth (if used), identification of any compositing of samples, in situ measurements, sample description, general observations, tide cycle, and analyses to be conducted.

7.2   Data Reporting for Physical Testing

All physical data should be summarized and presented in tabular format with the following column headings, at a minimum, for each analyzed sample: soil description, % grain size information, % solids, soil classification, and specific gravity.

For physical data, the percentages of each size class (Table 5-1) should be reported as well as the USCS classification. In addition to reporting the percentages of each size class, the applicant must graph the cumulative frequency percentages using the USACE Engineering (ENG) Form 2087 or a similar form (Figure 7‑1). These forms should be included in the report or as a report appendix.

Particle size distribution report FILEminimizer

            Figure 7-1. Sediment Grain Size Gradation Graph/Form

Source:

USEPA/USACE. 2008. SoutheastRegional Implementation Manual (SERIM) for Requirements and Procedures for Evaluation of the Ocean Disposal of Dredged Material in Southeastern U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast Waters. EPA 904-B-08-001. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, GA.

 

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