Bivalve teredinids inflict great destruction to wooden maritime structures. Yet no comprehensive study was ever carried out on these organisms in European coastal waters. Thus, the aims of this study were to: investigate the diversity of teredinids in European coastal waters; map their past and recent distributions to detect range expansion or contraction; determine salinity-temperature (S-T) requirements of species; flag, for future monitoring, the species that pose the greatest hazard for wooden structures.
A total of nine teredinid species were found established in European coastal waters. Seven were considered cryptogenic, of unknown origin, and two were considered alien species. Teredo navalis and Nototeredo norvagica were the species with the widest distribution in European waters. Recently, T. navalis has been reported occurring further east in the Baltic Sea but it was not found at a number of sites on the Atlantic coast of southern Europe. The Atlantic lineage of Lyrodus pedicellatus was the dominant teredinid in the southern Atlantic coast of Europe. In the Mediterranean six teredinid species occurred in sympatry, whereas only three of these occurred in the Black Sea. The species that pose the greatest hazard to wooden maritime structures in European coastal areas are T. navalis and the two lineages of L. pedicellatus.