Leather Mudweed

Leather Mudweed (Avrainvillea lacerata)

Leather mudweed

Photo courtesy of DAR


  • Fan shaped blades attached to single stalk (EOR, 2015)
  • Blades are green in color, usually covered with sand and appear brown (EOR, 2015)


  • Found attached to coral, rocks, or in flat sandy areas with low water motion (EOR, 2015)

Impacts & Concern:

  • High tolerance to environmental extremes (Veazey et al., 2019)
  • Can change community diversity of reefs, lowering fish and invertebrate populations (Veazey et al., 2019)
  • Creates mud layer on top of sand which changes nature of habitat  (UH Botany Dept., 2001)
  • Outcompetes native algae, corals, and seagrasses  (UH Botany Dept., 2001)
leather mudweed

Photo courtesy of DAR


  • First discovered in Hawaiʻi in 1981 (Veazey et al., 2019)
  • Mechanism of introduction is unknown (UH Botany Dept., 2001)


  • Shows low potential to reproduce via small fragmentation, however is highly invasive which raises questions about if fragmentation is the primary form of reproduction (Albright, 2017)

Distribution in Hawaii:

  • Kauai: Present
  • Oʻahu: Present in Diamond Head, Waikīkī, Koko Head, Kahe Point
  • Molokai: Present
  • Lanai: Present
  • Maui: Not documented
  • Big Island:  Not documented
Mudweed distribution in Maunalua Bay, Oahu

Mudweed distribution in Maunalua Bay, Oahu


  • UH Mānoa (2001) Avrainvillea amadelpha. Marine Algae of Hawaiʻi. https://www.hawaii.edu/reefalgae/invasive_algae/chloro/avrainvillea_amadelpha.htm
  • Eyes of the Reef (EOR). (2015). Leather Mudweed (Avrainvillea amadelpha). Eyes of the Reef Hawaiʻi. https://eorhawaii.org/education/marine-invasive-species/leather-mudweed/
  • Veazey, L., Williams, O., & Wade, R. (2019). Present-Day distribution and potential spread of the Invasive Green Alga Avrainvillea amadelpha around the Main Hawaiian Islands. Front. Mar. Sci., 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00402
  • Albright, S. (2017). A Growing Problem: The Missing Link for Ecological Success by the Invasive Avrainvillea. [Bachelorʻs Honors Project, University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa]. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/211323725.pdf