FIRST RECORD OF PACHYGRAPSUS MAURUS (LUCAS, 1846) IN THE NORTHERN TUNISIAN COAST

First record of Pachygrapsus maurus (Lucas, 1846) in the Northern Tunisian coast

Moez Shaiek, Sami Ben Haj, Mehdi Aissi, Ibrahem Ben Amer

Association Méditerranée Action-Nature (MAN, NGO), 01 rue d’Istanbul, 7000 Bizerte TUNISIA
Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Omar Mukhtar University, El-Bayda, LIBYA

Abstract

The cryptogenic grapsid crab Pachygrapsus maurus (Lucas, 1846), is a native species in the Mediterranean Sea that has been reported since the 1990s in several parts of the central basin such as the Maltese islands and Italian coast. However, the species presence in the areas such as eastern Algeria, Tunisia and Libya has not been documented previously. In September 2016, a preliminary survey was carried out to investigate the marine biodiversity in the channel of Bizerte (Northern Tunisia), during which P. maurus was observed and documented. Individuals were captured, photographed and identified based on key morphological features. The number of individuals observed indicates the species is well-established within the specialized rock and boulder habitat with strong wave exposure preferred by this species.

Keywords: Pachygrapsus maurus, central Mediterranean, North Africa, Grapsidae

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