THE NORTHWARD EXPANSION OF SYNAPTULA RECIPROCANS(ECHINODERMATA) IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

The northward expansion of Synaptula reciprocans (Echinodermata) in the Mediterranean Sea

Michail Ragkousis, Dimitra Marmara, Halit Filiz, Umut Uyan, Sezginer Tuncer, Georgios Romanidis-Kyriakidis, Ioannis Giovos

Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, DK-5230 Odense, DENMARK
iSea, Environmental Organization for the Preservation of the Aquatic Ecosystems, 11, Ochi Av., 55438 Ag. Pavlos, Thessaloniki, GREECE
Department of Basic Sciences, Mugla Sitki Kocman University, 48000, Mugla, TURKEY
Department of Marine Biology, Pukyong National University, Busan 48513, SOUTH KOREA
Department of Marine Science and Limnology, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, 17100 Canakkale, TURKEY

Abstract

Synaptula reciprocans was reported in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time back in 1986. Since then there have been numerous reports, following the species’ gradual expansion and establishment in the eastern Mediterranean basin. Here we report, by using citizen science methods, from the project titled “Is it Alien to you? Share it” of iSea, the most recent known expansion sites of S. reciprocans, including its new northern-most frontier. Furthermore, the provided photographic evidence testifies for possible interspecies relationships, for the first time.

Keywords: Synaptula reciprocans, invasive, Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea

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