Hydroides elegans is subtidal to low intertidal fouling organism that utilizes a variety of natural and artificial hard substrates including oyster and rock reefs, wood, concrete pilings, aquaculture cages, intake pipes, and vessel hulls. It is now widely distributed in the topics and subtropics, particularly in harbor fouling communities. The introduced range of the species includes coastal areas on both sides of the Atlantic (NIMPIS 2002). The species was established in parts of the southern Caribbean as early as the mid 1950s, and it was confirmed present in Florida in 1971 (Carlton and Ruckelshaus 1997). Occurrence on India River Lagoon collection blocks in locations ranging from Cape Canaveral to south Hutchinson Island suggests that Hydroides elegans is established and widespread in the Lagoon, although the relatively stenohaline character of the early life history stages (see below) may limit population distribution.
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