Aquarium caulerpa (Caulerpa taxifolia)

What to look for

  • Flattened 2D fronds.
  • Pinnules upward curving.
  • Pinnules attach directly opposite one another.
  • Up to 15 cm long.
  • >60 cm in deep water. 


  • Up to 100 m depth; exposed & sheltered estuaries, coastal lagoons & bays.
  • Rock, sand, mud & seagrass beds. 


  • Overgrows native habitat & can establish vast beds on soft sediment, degrading fish habitat.
  • Tangles in nets & anchors. 

Current locations 

  • Native in subtropical/tropical Australia.
  • Introduced to Port River & North Haven Marina SA
  • 14 coastal lakes & estuaries in NSW. 

What you can do

  • Inspect & clean niche areas & antifoul your vessels regularly.
  • Clean & dry equipment before transporting & using in a different location.
  • Check anchors & other equipment for tangled algae.
  • Caulerpa taxifolia can live for two weeks out of water & reproduce from fragments as small as 2mm. 

More information

More information on this pest can be found on the National Introduced Marine Pest Information System

Report a sighting

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