Halophila stipulacea is a species of seagrass (like Posidonia) in the Hydrocharitaceae family. It is native to the Indian Ocean that spread into the Mediterranean after the opening of the Suez Canal. This seagrass is widespread through the Gulf of Aqaba. Recently it has arrived in the Caribbean where it is also spreading. It is suggested that the expansion of H. stipulacea from the Red Sea into the Mediterranean Sea was a result of the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. The invasion into the Mediterranean was first documented in 1894. H. stipulacea has been classified as an invasive species because of its ability to displace native species. It can do this by forming thick mats, adapt to changes in environmental conditions, and exist along an extreme depth gradient.