DOCUMENTING THE OCCURRENCE OF THE LESSEPSIAN FISH STEPHANOLEPIS DIASPROS WITHIN THE STRAIT OF SICILY, CENTRAL MEDITERRANEAN

Documenting the occurrence of the Lessepsian fish Stephanolepis diaspros within the Strait of Sicily, central Mediterranean

Alan Deidun, Luca Castriota, Manuela Falautano, Giuseppe Maraventano, Elena Prazzi, Franco Andaloro

IOI-MOC, University of Malta, Msida MSD 2080, MALTA
Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), 9014, Palermo, ITALY
Legambiente C.R.S. Ente Gestore Riserva Naturale Orientata Isola di Lampedusa, 92010, Lampedusa, ITALY

Abstract

The increasing occurrence of the reticulated leatherjacket, Stephanolepis diaspros(Tetraodontiformes, Monacanthidae), a Lessepsian migrant, within the Strait of Sicily, central Mediterranean, is documented in this study. This is done through the collation of records of the species from coastal waters off the Maltese Islands, collected between August 2007 and May 2011, and through the publication of the second validated record for the same species, collected on 10 December 2013 from the island of Lampedusa (Pelagian Islands).

Keywords: Monacanthidae, Stephanolepis diaspros, Lessepsian, Strait of Sicily, reticulated leatherjacket, central Mediterranean

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