Join AGRRA’s webinar: The Unomia Learning Exchange

Unomia stolonifera in Venezuela – Photo: Estrella Villamizar

AGRRA’s webinar: The Unomia Learning Exchange:

A learning session and briefing alert on the potentially invasive soft coral, Unomia stolonifera, in the Caribbean.

This webinar is a collaboration between the Cartagena Convention Secretariat, SPAW-RAC, the Caribbean Biological Corridor, AGRRA, and The Caribbean Cooperation Team.

Unomia stolonifera in Venezuela – Photo: Estrella Villamizar

We invite you to join us for a learning exchange on a distinctive non-native soft coral, Unomia stolonifera, which has been reported in Venezuela and Cuba.

Unomia stolonifera is a fast-growing Indo-Pacific soft coral in the family Xeniidae. Introduced into a Venezuelan coastal coral community in the early 2000’s, its range has since expanded to include other coral habitats, as well as seagrass meadows and mangrove roots. This species was recently found in Cuba. With its rapid growth and lack of natural predators, U. stolonifera has the potential to exclude native species and reduce biodiversity in the Caribbean.

During this webinar, experts from Venezuela and Cuba will share available information on the appearance and expansion of this non-native species, including ongoing studies of its reproduction and invasive properties. We will discuss lessons learned about research, education, and the difficulties of control, along with other next steps.

The webinar will last for 90 minutes including presentations, an open group discussion, and question and answer session. A recording of the webinar will be available on the AGRRA website and  AGRRA’s YouTube channel.



  • Unomia stolonifera in the Pacific and aquaria: Judith Lang (Atlantic & Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment -AGRRA)

Unomia stolonifera in Venezuela

  • Invasion history and ecological distribution: José Juan Grieco (Fundación La Tortuga)
  • How to Identify Ustolonifera underwater: Ana Yranzo Duque (Universidad Central de Venezuela)
  • Asexual and sexual reproduction of Ustolonifera: Jeannette Perez-Benítez (Universidad Central de Venezuela)
  • Chemical investigations: Rubén Machado (Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas)
  • Lessons Learned: Estrella Villamizar G (Universidad Central de Venezuela)

Unomia stolonifera in Cuba

  • Responses to recent appearance in Cuba: Reynaldo Estrada (Fundación Antonio Núñez Jiménez de la Naturaleza y el Hombre)

Lessons will be shared from the Caribbean and the United States for communicating information about and reporting any observed sightings of this soft coral (Ustolonifera is also invasive in Hawaii). Time permitting, we can discuss management considerations and the difficulties of control.

Information Source:
Photo ©: Unomia stolonifera in Venezuela – Estrella Villamizar
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