Biofoulers Ftpierce Florida

Fort Pierce Florida, Florida, USA
Biofoulers in Link Port, Fort Pierce, Florida, USA

Link Port is a man made inlet and home base for Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, where Poseidon Sciences maintained a static immersion platform from 2005-2007. The inlet opens into the Intercoastal Waterway and adequate mixing with the Atlantic Ocean through gaps within the Intercoastal as shown in the aerial view. The area is rich in biofouling species that are seasonally present.

Class Species Frequency
Algae Enteromorpha lingulata
Scytonema sp. (Blue-green algae)
Barnacles Balanus amphitrite
Balanus eburneus
Tetraclita stalactifera (Thatched-roof Barnacle)
Common all year
Common all year
Bryozoans Bugula minima (Purple Reef Fan)
Bugula neritina
Bugula stolonifera
Bugula turrita (Spiral-tufted Bryozoan)
Conopeum tenuissimum (Lacy Crust Bryozoan; no photo)
Hippoporina feegeensis. (Pearly Orange Encrusting Bryozoan)
Hippoporina verrilli (no photo)
Schizoporella sp. (Purple Encrusting Bryozoan)
Schizoporella violacea (Tubular Horn Bryozoan)
Common in winter, spring
Common in winter, early spring

Common in winter, fallCommon in late fall, early winter

Common late spring, summer
Hydroids Hydroides spongicola (Touch-me-not Fanworm)  
Molluscs Crassostrea virginica  
1)Sabellids2) Serpulids
Branchioma nigromaculata (Black-spotted Feather Duster)
(and another species in a photo that Chuck sent w/c was only identified as a Sabellid polychaete)Spirorbis spp.

(and another species in a photo that Chuck sent w/c was only identified as a Serpulid polychaete)

Abundant in summerAll year, most common in fall and winter
Tunicates Ascidia sp.
Ascidia curvata (Green Tube Tunicate)
Ascidia interrupta (Paintsplash Tunicate)
Diplosoma macdonaldi (Globular Encrusting Tunicate)
Diplosoma listerianum (Royal Tunicate)
Eternascidia turbinata
Perophora viridis (no photo)
Styela plicata
Symplegma viride (Encrusting Social Tunicate)

Rare in summer
Common in spring , summer, occasional in winter
Common early spring, summer
Common in spring, summer


Enteromorpha lingulata. Thallus lax, fine, close lying or tufted, forming tangled filamentous masses to 15 cm long. Bright yellow-green; branching present throughout, most abundant at base. Blades cylindrical, tubular, hollow, 1-2 mm in diameter. Holdfast pad-like, of tightly knit rhizoids.

Scytonema sp. Thallus is expanded, somewhat lumpy crust, often without definite shape, 0.5-2.0 mm thick, black to dark green. Filaments 15-30 micrometers in diameter, short, usually erect, occasionally decumbent, with abundant false branching

Balanus amphitrite (see under Biofoulers in Tuticorin Bay)

Bugula stolonifera. Colonies grayish tan, erect and branching, forming a fan or funnel (young colonies) or a dense tuft (older colonies). Smaller than colonies of Bugula neritina, usually 3-4 cm in height. (From Winston, 1980).

Conopeum tenuissiumum (Lacy Crust Bryozoan; no photo available)
Hippoporina verrilli (no photo available)
Schizoporella sp. (Purple-encrusting Bryozoan)



Large intertidal and subtidal oyster commonly reaching up to 4 inches (10 cm) in length. It first appears as tan round plate conforming to the shape of the substrate to which it is attached. Crassostrea becomes elongated with growth; the new growth arching upward or away from the substrate and becoming wider than the older portion that initially attached to the substrate. This results in a deeply convex lower (relative to the substrate) shell and flatter upper shell, which assumes the appearance of a lid. The adductor muscle develops inside the narrow, older portion of the shell near the hinge of the bivalve. At the opposite end, spiny protrusions frequently form on the terminal ridges of the shell giving older oysters the overall appearance of the head of a fanged baleen whale. The tan shell color fades in time to an ashen white.

Sabellid and serpulid polycheates are families of feather duster, or fan worms. Sabellids build membranous or sand-grain tubes. Serpulids secrete calcareous tubes that are attached to rocks, shells, or algae, enabling these worms to live on an otherwise inhospitable hard substratum. The most dorsal radiole on one or both sides of the serpullids is modified into a long stalked knob called an operculum, which acts as a protective plug at the end of the tube when the crown is withdrawn.


The long, slender, extending off the side of the fouled panel is a Sabellid polychaete.


The Serpulid polychaete encases itself in a hard calcium carbonate tube. It is easy to spot because of the shell-like color of the tube.

Typical members of this genus have the body somewhat elongate, oval, laterally flattened, and attached by the posterior part of much of the left side. The apertures are on siphons, the branchial about eight-lobed and terminal, the atrial six-lobed and toward the dorsal side, and the test fairly tough but somewhat translucent, even semi-transparent.

The colony in this species consists of a dense group or cluster of elongate, club-shaped zooids, each with its own separate covering of test. The tests are connected by their tapering bases with a network of stolons that adheres to the surface on which it grows. The colony may entirely surround the object to which it is attached. Zooids are generally about 20mm long. They are oblong, truncate at the anterior end where the two apertures are situated, and abruptly tapered at the other end to a narrow pedicel containing the vessel that connects each individual to the colony.

The tests are transparent and colorless, thicker on the ends of the body. Mantle and internal organs are also transparent, but shades into yellow, orange, or pinkish orange on the anterior part of the body, the color being largely due to pigment in cells in the branching vessels in the mantle. The intestinal loop is yellow or orange. Rarely, some colonies are entirely bright orange.

Apertures on short tubes or slight elevations which do not project beyond the surface of the thick layer of test covering this end of the body. The branchial aperture is larger than the atrial. Both apertures are usually directed straight forward.

Perophora viridis (no photo available)

This is a large species that is variable in external appearance. Sometimes the body is broader in the anterior part or near the middle and narrowed toward the posterior end by which it is attached. The test at this end of the body, especially in examples that grew in a crowded group, may be so produced that it looks like a short, stout pedicel. Some specimens are strongly compressed laterally, others scarcely at all. In other examples, the general outline of the body is oval and rounded and attached by one side or near the posterior end. Young individuals are shorter and much wider proportionately than older ones.

The branchial orifice is terminal, or nearly so, the atrial a little way back on the dorsal side; both usually surrounded by four rounded prominences corresponding to the four sides of the square aperture, which lies in the depression between them. In small individuals these prominences are enormous. In many individuals there is a conspicuous curvature of the long axis of the body by which the apertures are brought towards each other, and the ventral side of the body becomes more convex.

The more conspicuous external characters of the species are furnished by the test and body surface. The lobes surrounding the apertures are marked with radiating purple brown lines. The surface is usually clean although ascidians, bryozoans, and other organisms sometimes grow upon it. In some individuals the surface is merely irregularly furrowed, or there are a few conspicuous, widely spaced, longitudinal furrows which are separated by broad, rounded ridges running toward the apertures and ending in the prominences described above. In many individuals the ridges are broken, especially on the anterior part of the body, into low but large, dome-shaped elevations, giving the body surface or parts of it, an appearance suggesting a coarse, unevenly laid cobblestone pavement. Large specimens may reach 7 cm in length.

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