for the Department of Environment and Heritage
ISBN 1 8769 9685 4
About the report
The New Zealand Screw shell Maoricolpus roseus unintentionally introduced to south-eastern Tasmania in the 1920s, has now spread out to the 80 metre depth contour off the eastern Victorian and New South Wales coasts and is found as far north as Botany Bay (Bax et al. 2003).
This species has colonized more habitat than any other high-impact benthic marine pest in Australia and the risk of its further spread and establishment is very likely owing to its wide temperature and depth tolerance.
This project was initiated to develop genetic probes for the rapid detection and assessment of this species as a prelude to determining its impacts on the native flora and fauna as well as to fill our knowledge gaps in its phenology and life history strategies. In particular it is important to know whether this species has a planktonic life history stage that could lead to its dispersal in ships' ballast water.