FIRST RECORD OF LUTJANUS FULVIFLAMMA (OSTEICHTHYES: LUTJANIDAE) IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

First record of Lutjanus fulviflamma (Osteichthyes: Lutjanidae) in the Mediterranean Sea

Adriana Vella, Noel Vella, Sandra Agius Darmanin                                           

Conservation Biology Research Group, Department of Biology, University of Malta, Msida MSD2080, MALTA

Abstract

This paper presents the first record of Dory snapper, Lutjanus fulviflamma in the Mediterranean Sea. The specimen was caught from Valletta Waterfront, Malta (Central Mediterranean) on the 15th of December 2013. The species was identified through morphometric and meristic characters. Genetic analyses of the mitochondrial DNA sequences (COI, CO2, ND4 and Cytb) verified the species’ identity, while phylogenetic analyses revealed that the specimen was of East African origin possibly finding its way into the Mediterranean Sea as a Lessepsian migrant through the Suez Canal due to the ongoing Erythrean invasion.

Keywords: Lutjanus fulviflamma, alien, genetics, Mediterranean, Malta

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