100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species

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100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species is a list of invasive species compiled by the Global Invasive Species Database in 2014.[1] The IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG), which maintains the list, acknowledges that it is "very difficult to identify 100 invasive species from around the world that really are 'worse' than any others."[1]

Criteria for inclusion[edit]

Two criteria were used in selecting items for the list:

  • An invasive species' "serious impact on biological diversity and/or human activities" and
  • That species' "illustration of important issues surrounding biological invasion"[1]

According to the ISSG, "only one species from each genus was selected."[1]

List of species[edit]

Species Type Common names Notes[1]
Acacia mearnsii shrub Black wattle, Australian acacia Invasive worldwide. Native to Australia.
Acridotheres tristis bird Common myna, Calcutta myna, house myna, Indian myna, martin triste, talking myna Invasive in Australia, Hawaii, and Fiji. Established and potentially invasive in parts of Europe. Native to South Asia.
Aedes albopictus insect Asian tiger mosquito, forest day mosquito, tiger mosquito Spread via the international tire trade. Native to tropical Asia.
Anopheles quadrimaculatus insect Common malaria mosquito Invasive in North America.
Anoplolepis gracilipes insect Yellow crazy ant, crazy ant, gramang ant, long-legged ant, Maldive ant Invasive in Australia, Hawaii and Indian Ocean islands.
Anoplophora glabripennis insect Asian long-horned beetle, starry sky beetle Invasive in North America and established and potentially invasive in parts of Europe. Native to East Asia.
Aphanomyces astaci protozoan Crayfish plague Invasive in Europe. Native to North America.
Ardisia elliptica tree Shoebutton Ardisia Invasive in tropical Australia, South Florida, the Caribbean and many Pacific and Indian Ocean islands. Native to South and Southeast Asia.
Arundo donax grass Giant cane, arundo grass, bamboo reed, cane, cow cane, donax cane, giant reed, reedgrass, river cane, Spanish cane, Spanish reed, wild cane Invasive in California.
Asterias amurensis echinoderm Northern Pacific seastar, flatbottom seastar, Japanese seastar, Japanese starfish, North Pacific seastar, purple-orange seastar Invasive in the southern coasts of Australia. Native to far north Pacific Ocean coasts.
Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) virus Banana bunchy top disease, BBTD, abaca bunchy top virus, BBTV, bunchy top, bunchy top virus Invasive worldwide.
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus "Bd," chytrid frog fungi, chytridiomycosis, frog chytrid fungus Invasive in Australia and Panama.
Bemisia tabaci insect Cotton whitefly, sweet potato whitefly, sweetpotato whitefly Invasive worldwide.
Boiga irregularis reptile Brown catsnake, brown tree snake, brown treesnake Invasive in Guam. Native to Wallacea, New Guinea, Melanesia, and northern and eastern Australia.
Bufo marinus = Rhinella marina amphibian Cane toad, bufo toad, bullfrog, giant American toad, giant neotropical toad, giant toad, marine toad, Suriname toad Invasive in Australia, Melanesia, the Pacific, Philippines, Taiwan, and the West Indies. Native to South America and Central America.
Capra hircus mammal Goat, feral goat Invasive worldwide. See also feral goats in Australia.
Carcinus maenas crustacean European green crab, European shore crab, green crab, shore crab Invasive in North America, Australia, parts of South America and South Africa. Native to Europe and northern Africa.
Caulerpa taxifolia alga Killer Alga(e) Invasive in the Mediterranean Sea. Native to the Indian Ocean.
Cecropia peltata tree Faux-ricin, pumpwood, trumpet tree, snakewood Invasive in Malaysia, Africa, and Pacific Islands. Native to tropical Central and South America.
Cercopagis pengoi crustacean Fishhook waterflea Invasive in Eastern Europe and in the Baltic Sea. Native to the Ponto-Aralo-Caspian basin.
Cervus elaphus mammal Red deer, deer, elk,[n 1] European red deer Invasive in South America, New Zealand, and Australia.
Chromolaena odorata herb Siam weed, bitter bush, Christmas bush, devil weed, camfhur grass, common floss flower, jack in the bush, triffid Invasive in tropical Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. Native to South America and Central America.
Cinara cupressi insect Cypress aphid Invasive worldwide.
Cinchona pubescens tree Red cinchona, quina Invasive in Hawaii, the Galapagos Islands and Tahiti. Native to Central and South America.
Clarias batrachus fish Walking catfish, clarias catfish, climbing perch, freshwater catfish, Thailand catfish Invasive in North America. Native to Southeast Asia.
Clidemia hirta shrub Koster's curse, faux vatouk, soap bush, soapbush Invasive in Hawaii, Indian Ocean islands (Seychelles), peninsular Malaysia, and parts of Micronesia (Palau).
Coptotermes formosanus insect Formosa termite, Formosan subterranean termite Invasive in South Africa, Hawaii, and the United States mainland. Native to southern Japan, Taiwan and South China.
Cryphonectria parasitica fungus Chestnut blight Invasive in North America.
Cyprinus carpio fish Common carp, European carp, fancy carp, feral carp, German carp, grass carp, Japanese domesticated carp, king carp, koi, koi carp, leather carp, mirror carp, Oriental carp, scale carp, wild carp Invasive worldwide.
Dreissena polymorpha mollusc Eurasian zebra mussel, wandering mussel, zebra mussel Invasive in North America and Western Europe. Native to Eastern Europe.
Eichhornia crassipes aquatic plant Water hyacinth, floating water hyacinth, water orchid Invasive worldwide. Native to South America.
Eleutherodactylus coqui amphibian Caribbean tree frog, common coqui, coqui, Puerto Rican treefrog Invasive in Hawaii, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, and Florida. Native to Puerto Rico.
Eriocheir sinensis crustacean Chinese mitten crab, big sluice crab, Chinese freshwater edible crab, Chinese river crab, Shanghai hairy crab Invasive in Europe and North America. Native to East Asia.
Euglandina rosea mollusc Cannibal snail, rosy wolf snail Invasive in Indian and Pacific Ocean islands. Native to the southeastern United States.
Euphorbia esula herb Leafy spurge, green spurge, spurge, wolf's milk Invasive worldwide. Native to Europe and temperate Asia.
Felis catus mammal Cat, domestic cat, feral cat, house cat Invasive worldwide.
Gambusia affinis fish Mosquitofish, guayacon mosquito, live-bearing tooth-carp, mosquito fish, pez mosquito, western mosquitofish Invasive worldwide. Native to the fresh waters of the eastern and southern United States.
Hedychium gardnerianum herb Ginger lily, kahila garland-lily, kahili ginger, wild ginger
Herpestes javanicus mammal Small Asian mongoose, small Indian mongoose Invasive in the northeast coast of South America, Croatia, Amami Island, Fiji, Hawaii, and the West Indies. Native to South and Southeast Asia.
Hiptage benghalensis shrub Hiptage Invasive in Australian rainforests, Mauritius, and Réunion. Native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Imperata cylindrica grass Blady grass, cogon grass, Japanese bloodgrass, speargrass Invasive worldwide, including the southeastern United States. Native to Asia.
Lantana camara shrub Angel lips, big sage, blacksage, flowered sage, largeleaf lantana, prickly lantana, Spanish flag, West Indian Lantana, white sage, wild sage Invasive worldwide.
Lates niloticus fish Nile perch, African snook, Victoria perch Invasive worldwide. Contributed to the decline of haplochromines in Lake Victoria. Native to Africa.
Leucaena leucocephala tree White leadtree, false koa, faux mimosa, faux-acacia, horse/wild tamarind, jumbie bean, lead tree, wild mimosa, wild tamarind Invasive throughout the hotter regions of the world. Native to Central America.
Ligustrum robustum shrub Bora-bora, Ceylon privét, Sri Lankan privet, tree privet Invasive in the Mascarene Archipelago (Mauritius and Réunion). Native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Linepithema humile insect Argentine ant Invasive worldwide. Native to South America.
Lissachatina fulica mollusc Giant African land snail, giant African snail Invasive in South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, the Pacific, Indian Ocean islands, and the West Indies. Native to West Africa.
Lymantria dispar insect Asian gypsy moth, gypsy moth Invasive worldwide.
Lythrum salicaria herb Purple loosestrife, purple lythrum, rainbow weed, spiked loosestrife
Macaca fascicularis mammal Crab-eating macaque, long-tailed macaque, lion-tailed macaque. Invasive in Mauritius, Palau (Angaur Island), Hong Kong and parts of Indonesia (Tinjil Island and Papua). Native to Southeast Asia.
Melaleuca quinquenervia tree Paperbark teatree, bottle brush tree, broadleaf paperbark tree, broadleaf teatree, broad-leaved paperbark tree, five-veined paperbark tree, paper bark tree, punk tree, white bottlebrush tree Invasive in Florida. Native to New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and coastal eastern Australia.
Miconia calvescens tree Bush currant, purple plague, velvet tree Invasive in Pacific Islands, including Hawaii and Tahiti. Native to rainforests of tropical America.
Micropterus salmoides fish Largemouth bass, American black bass, bass, black bass, green bass, green trout, largemouth black bass, northern largemouth bass, stormundet black bass Invasive worldwide. Native to the eastern United States.
Mikania micrantha vine, climber American rope, Chinese creeper, mile-a-minute weed Invasive in the Pacific. Native to Central and South America.
Mimosa pigra shrub Bashful plant, catclaw, catclaw mimosa, giant sensitive plant, giant trembling plant, mimosa Invasive in Southeast Asia and Australia. Rice crop pest. Native to South America.
Mnemiopsis leidyi comb jelly American comb jelly, comb jelly, comb jellyfish, sea gooseberry, sea walnut, Venus' girdle, warty comb jelly Invasive in Southeast European waters, including the Black, Azov, Marmara, Aegean, and Caspian Seas. Native to temperate, subtropical estuaries along the Atlantic coast of North and South America.
Mus musculus mammal Field mouse, house mouse, wood mouse Invasive worldwide. Native to South Asia.
Mustela erminea mammal Stoat, ermine, short-tailed weasel Invasive in New Zealand. Native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere.
Myocastor coypus mammal Bewerrot, biberratte, coipù, coypu, nutria, ragondin Invasive in North America, Europe, and Asia. Native to South America.
Morella faya shrub Candleberry myrtle, fayatree, fire tree, firebush Invasive in Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia. native to the Azores, Madeira Islands, and the Canary Islands.
Mytilus galloprovincialis mollusc Bay mussel, blue mussel, Mediterranean mussel Invasive worldwide. Native to the Mediterranean Coast and the Black Sea.
Oncorhynchus mykiss fish Rainbow trout, Baja California rainbow trout, coast angel trout, coast rainbow trout, coast range trout, hardhead, Kamchatka steelhead, Kamchatka trout, Kamloops, Kamloops trout, lord-fish, redband, redband trout, salmon trout, silver trout, steelhead, steelhead trout, summer salmon Invasive worldwide. Native to western North America.
Ophiostoma ulmi sensu lato fungus Dutch elm disease Caused destructive pandemics in Europe and North America. Native to Asia.
Opuntia stricta shrub Common prickly pear, Araluen pear, Australian pest pear, common pest pear, erect prickly pear, gayndah pear, sour prickly pear, spiny pest pear Invasive in South Africa and Australia. Native to Central America.
Oreochromis mossambicus fish Tilapia, common tilapia, Java tilapia, kurper bream, Mozambique cichlid, Mozambique mouth-breeder, Mozambique mouthbrooder, Mozambique tilapia Invasive worldwide.
Oryctolagus cuniculus mammal Rabbit, European rabbit Invasive in Australia and New Zealand. Native to southwestern Europe and North Africa.
Pheidole megacephala insect Big-headed ant, brown house-ant, coastal brown-ant, lion ant Invasive in Australia and Florida. Native to southern Africa.
Phytophthora cinnamomi fungus Cinnamon fungus, green fruit rot, heart rot, phytophthora root rot, seedling blight, stem canker, wildflower dieback
Pinus pinaster tree Cluster pine, maritime pine Invasive in South Africa. Native to the Mediterranean Basin.
Plasmodium relictum protozoan Avian malaria Highly invasive in Hawaii.
Platydemus manokwari flatworm New Guinea flatworm, flatworm, snail-eating flatworm Invasive in Pacific islands. Native to New Guinea.
Pomacea canaliculata mollusc Apple snail, channeled apple snail, golden apple snail, golden kuhol, miracle snail Invasive in Southeast Asia and Hawaii. Rice crop pest. Native to South America.
Potamocorbula amurensis mollusc Amur river clam, Amur river corbula, Asian bivalve, Asian clam, brackish-water corbula, Chinese clam, marine clam
Prosopis glandulosa tree Honey mesquite, mesquite, Texas mesquite
Psidium cattleianum shrub Cattley guava, cherry guava, Chinese guava, purple strawberry guava, strawberry guava Highly invasive in Mauritius and Hawaii. Native to Brazil.
Pueraria montana var. lobata vine Japanese arrowroot, kudzu, kudzu vine Native to Southeast and East Asia. Invasive in several other parts of the world, especially the southeastern United States.
Pycnonotus cafer bird Red-vented bulbul Invasive in many Pacific islands. Native to South and Southeast Asia
Lithobates catesbeianus amphibian Bullfrog, North American bullfrog, American bullfrog Invasive in Central and South America, western Europe, and East Asia. Native to eastern North America.
Reynoutria japonica (syns. Fallopia japonica, Polygonum cuspidatum) shrub Crimson beauty, donkey rhubarb, fleeceflower, German sausage, Japanese bamboo, Japanese fleece flower, Japanese knotweed, Japanese polygonum, kontiki bamboo, Mexican-bamboo, peashooter plant, reynoutria fleece flower, sally rhubarb Invasive in Europe and North America. Native to Japan.
Rattus rattus mammal Black rat, blue rat, bush rat, European house rat, roof rat, ship rat Invasive worldwide.
Rubus ellipticus shrub Asian wild raspberry, broad-leafed bramble, Ceylon blackberry, golden evergreen raspberry, Molucca berry, Molucca bramble, Molucca raspberry, robust blackberry, wild blackberry, wild raspberry, yellow Himalayan raspberry Invasive in Hawaii. Native to South Asia.
Salmo trutta fish Brown trout, blacktail, brook trout, galway sea trout, herling, lake trout, orange fin, orkney sea trout, salmon trout, sea trout, trout, whiting, whitling Invasive worldwide. Native to Europe, Central Asia, and the Atlas Mountains of Africa.
Salvinia molesta floating aquatic fern Giant salvinia
Schinus terebinthifolius tree Brazilian holly, Brazilian pepper, Brazilian pepper tree, Christmas berry, Florida holly, Mexican pepper Invasive in North America, Australia, the West Indies, Pacific Islands. Native to South America.
Sciurus carolinensis mammal Gray squirrel, grey squirrel, Eastern gray squirrel Introduced to the British Isles, Italy, and South Africa. Native to eastern North America.
Solenopsis invicta insect Red imported fire ant, RIFA, Red Fire ant Invasive in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and the United States. Native to tropical South America.
Spartina anglica grass Common cord grass, rice grass, Townsend's grass, Rice cord grass
Spathodea campanulata tree African tulip tree, fireball, flame of the forest, fountain tree, Indian cedar, Santo Domingo mahogany Invasive in Pacific Islands. Native to West Africa.
Sphagneticola trilobata herb Creeping ox-eye, Singapore daisy, trailing daisy Invasive worldwide. Native to Central America.
Sturnus vulgaris bird Common starling, English starling, European starling Native to Eurasia. Invasive in North America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Sus scrofa mammal Wild boar, razorback Invasive worldwide.
Tamarix ramosissima shrub Salt cedar Invasive in the western United States and northern Mexico. Native to Eurasia.
Trachemys scripta elegans reptile Red-eared slider, red-eared slider terrapin, slider turtle Invasive in eastern Australia. Native to the eastern United States and northern Mexico.
Trichosurus vulpecula mammal Brushtail possum Invasive species in New Zealand.
Trogoderma granarium insect Khapra beetle
Ulex europaeus shrub Gorse, Irish furze
Undaria pinnatifida alga Wakame, apron-ribbon vegetable, Asian kelp, Japanese kelp Invasive in New Zealand, the United States, Western Europe, Argentina, Australia, and Mexico. Native to Japan.
Vespula vulgaris insect Common wasp, common yellowjacket, European Wasp Invasive in New Zealand and Australia. Native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere (Palearctic).
Vulpes vulpes mammal Red fox, black or cross fox Invasive in Australia. Native to the Northern Hemisphere.
Wasmannia auropunctata insect Cocoa tree-ant, electric ant, little fire ant, little introduced fire ant, little red fire ant, small fire ant, West Indian stinging ant Invasive in the Pacific, the West Indies, and parts of Central Africa. Native to Central and South America.
  1. ^ Not to be confused with the animal known in North America as the elk, now recognized by many authorities as a separate species (Cervus canadensis). Also not to be confused with the animal often called "elk" in Eurasia, known in North America as the moose (Alces alces).


  1. ^ a b c d e "100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species". Global Invasive Species Database. Retrieved 5 September 2018.