Introduced and cryptogenic marine and estuarine species of South Africa

12 December 2011

The introduction history, systematics, transport vectors and distribution patterns of 85 introduced and 39 cryptogenic marine or estuarine animals and plants of South Africa are presented. This represents an addition of 93 species compared with previous lists. Taxa covered include protists, dinoflagellates, sponges, cnidarians, annelids, crustaceans, pycnogonids, insects, molluscs, brachiopods, bryozoans, echinoderms, ascidians, fish, algae and higher plants. For each species a justification motivating its inclusion as an introduction into South African shores or its cryptogenic status, is provided. Challenges associated with this type of inventory work are explored and major patterns of bioinvasion within the region are summarized briefly.