Lophopodella carteri
Lophopodella carteri
(freshwater bryozoan)
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Lophopodella carteri (Hyatt 1865)

Common name: freshwater bryozoan

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Ricciardi and Reiswig (1994) provide a taxonomic key to freshwater bryozoans.

Colonies are usually not greater than 1 cm in diameter (Ricciardi and Reiswig 1994, for eastern Canadian specimen). Highest density of colonies was found to be 65 colonies/m2 by Ricciardi and Lewis (1991). Polypide number ranges from 20 to 70 per colony and each polypide ranges from 1.08 mm to 1.52 mm (Bushnell 1965).


Size: 1.08 mm to 1.52 mm per polypide

Native Range: Southeast Asia (Ricciardi and Reiswig 1994 and references, Bushnell 1965). Northeast Africa (Bushnell 1965).

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Nonindigenous Occurrences: Illinois, Lake Erie, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (Bushnell 1965). Virginia (Tenney and Woolcott 1962). Massachusetts (Smith 1985). Rogick (1957) examined and verified specimens from Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Ponds and reservoirs on Oahu, Hawaii (Devick 1991). Lake Michigan (Lauer et al. 1999).

Means of Introduction: Lophopodella carteri is thought to have been introduced to North America with aquatic plants in the 1930s (Masters 1940). Rogick and Dahlgren independently found L. carteri in the U.S. in 1934 (Ricciardi and Lewis 1991). Lophopodella carteri was discovered in large quantities in a commercial greenhouse in Ohio in 1934, very near to the time it was found by Rogick on Lake Erie in Ohio (Masters 1940). That same company had other greenhouses in New Jersey, where L. carteri was sited by Dahlgren (Masters 1940). Possibly aquarium release in Hawaii (Devick 1991).

Bushnell (1965) found L. carteri in a waterfowl sanctuary and noted the strong possibility of statoblasts to be spread by waterfowl. Statoblasts have been found on the foot and bill of waterfowl, and have been known to remain viable after passing through the digestive tract of a mallard (Bushnell 1965).

Status: Established (Devick 1991).

Impact of Introduction: Bryozoans, in general, can easily become an economic nuisance due to their encrusting colonies (Ricciardi and Reiswig 1994).  

The ecological impact of L. carteri has not yet been thoroughly investigated. Lauer et al. (1999) found that L. carteri colonies inhibit zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) from settling. Lophopodella carteri also readily forms colonies on mollusk shells (Ricciardi and Reiswig 1994, Lauer et al. 1999), against which zebra mussels appear to have no defense (Lauer et al. 1999). Lauer et al. (1999) suggested three ways in which L. carteri could prevent recruitment of D. polmorpha: 1. There is a current produced by bryozoans lophophore cilia (used for food selection, waste rejection) that may physically prevent D. polymorpha larvae from settling. 2. The cover produced by L. carteri colonies may cause D. polymorpha larvae to seek alternate substrates. 3. The coelomic fluid of L. carteri is known to kill fish and salamanders by damaging gill tissue, and this fluid may also have a detrimental effect on D. polymorpha larvae.

Remarks: A colony of L. carteri can move up to 12 cm per day (Bushnell 1965).

References: (click for full references)

Bushnell, J.H. 1965. On the taxonomy and distribution of freshwater ectoprocta in Michigan. Part I. Transactions of the American Microscopical Society 84:231-244.

Bushnell, J.H. 1974. Bryozoans. Pages 157-194 in Hart, C.W. and S.L.H. Fuller, eds. Pollution ecology of freshwater invertebrates. Academic Press. New York, NY.

Devick, W.S. 1991. Patterns of introductions of aquatic organisms to Hawaiian freshwater habitats. Pages 189-213 in New Directions in Research, Management and Conservation of Hawaiian Freshwater Stream Ecosystem. Proceedings Freshwater Stream Biology and Fisheries Management Symposium. Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

GLMRIS. 2012. Appendix C: Inventory of Available Controls for Aquatic Nuisance Species of Concern, Chicago Area Waterway System. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Lauer, T.E., D.K. Barnes, A. Ricciardi, and A. Spacie. 1999. Evidence of recruitment inhibition of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) by a freshwater bryozoan (Lophopodella carteri). Journal of the North American Benthological Society 18(3):406-413.

Masters, O.C. 1940. Notes on subtropical plants and animals in Ohio. Ohio Journal of Science 25:67-70.

Pardue, W.J. and T.S. Wood. 1980. Baseline toxicity data for freshwater bryozoa exposed to copper, cadmium, chromium, and zinc. Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science 55(1):27-31.

Piola, Richard F., and Emma L. Johnston. "Differential Tolerance to Metals among Populations of the Introduced Bryozoan Bugula neritina." Marine Biology 148.5 (2006): 997-1010. Web.

Ricciardi, A., and H.M. Reiswig. 1994. Taxonomy, distribution, and ecology of the freshwater bryozoans (Ectoprocta) of eastern Canada. Canadian Journal of Zoology 72:339-359.

Ricciardi, A., and D.J. Lewis. 1991. Occurrence and ecology of Lophopodella carteri (Hyatt) and other freshwater Bryozoa in the lower Ottawa River near Montreal, Quebec. Canadian Journal of Zoology 69:1401-1404.

Rogick, M.D. 1957. Studies of the freshwater Bryozoa. XVIII. Lophopodella carteri in Kentucky. Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of Science 18:85-87.

Smith, D.G. 1985. Lophopodella carteri (Hyatt), Pottsiella erecta (Potts), and other freshwater ectoprocta in the Connecticut River (New England, U.S.A.). Ohio Journal of Science 85(1):67-70.

Tenney, W.R., and W.S. Woolcott. 1962. First report of the bryozoan, Lophopodella carteri (Hyatt) in Virginia. American Midland Naturalist 68:247-248.

United States. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Department of Defense. Inventory of Available Controls for Aquatic Nuisance Species of Concern, Chicago Area Waterway System. N.p.: Great Lakes and Mississippi Interbasin Study, 2011.

Author: Fuller, P., E. Maynard, J. Larson, T.H. Makled, and A. Fusaro

Revision Date: 5/23/2013

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., E. Maynard, J. Larson, T.H. Makled, and A. Fusaro, 2018, Lophopodella carteri (Hyatt 1865): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=278, Revision Date: 5/23/2013, Access Date: 1/22/2018

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/22/2018].

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