The first record of the lowfin chub Kyphosus vaigiensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825) from Malta

Noel Vella, Adriana Vella, Sandra Agius Darmanin

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


This paper presents the morphometric, meristic and genetic analyses of the first specimen of the lowfin chub, Kyphosus vaigiensis, from the coastal Maltese waters. A single specimen was caught in January, 2015 from Malta, but since then a number of other occasional visual records of this species have been noted in close-by areas, indicating an established population in these waters.

Keywords: Kyphosus vaigiensis, alien species, Malta, Mediterranean Sea, DNA barcoding


Ariola, V. (1904) Pesci nuovi o rari per il golfo di Geova. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova 31:153-168.

Azzurro, E., Peña-Rivas, L., Lloris, D., Bariche, M. (2013) First documented occurrence of Kyphosus incisor in the Mediterranean Sea. Marine Biodiversity Records 6, e98.

Carpenter, KE. (2002) Kyphosidae. In: The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Volume 3: Bony fishes. Part 2 (Opistognathidae to Molidae), sea turtles and marine mammals (eds. K.E. Carpenter). Rome: FAO.

Doderlein, P. (1884) Rinvenimento di un pesce dell’esotico genere Pimelepterus, Lac. nelle acque del Golfo di Palermo. Naturalista Siciliano 3:81-86.

Enemalta (2011) Prediction of the Spread and Dilution of Cooling Water from Delimara Power Station; SLR global environmental solutions Report Ref. 403.0082.00022; pp. 41.

Francour, P., Mouine, N. (2008) First record of Kyphosus sectator (Kyphosidae) along the French Mediterranean coast. Cybium 32: 275-276.

Galil, B.S. (2008) Alien species in the Mediterranean Sea – which, when, where, why? Challenges to marine ecosystems. Hydrobiologia 606: 105-116.

Golani, D., Orsi-Relini, L., Massutí, E., Quignard, J.P. (2014) CIESM – Atlas of Exotic Fishes. ( (Accessed 25.04. 2016)

Hemida, F., Kanoun, N., Golani, D., Ben Souissi, J., Guelorgeto, O., Capape, C. (2004) Records of the Bermuda sea chub, Kyphosus sectator (Linnaeus, 1758) (Osteichthyes: Kyphosidae) from the coastal waters of Algeria (Southern
Mediterranean). Annales for Istrian and Mediterranean Studies, Series Historia Naturalis 14:49-52.

Kearse, M., Moir, R., Wilson, A., Stones-Havas, S., Cheung, M., Sturrock, S., Buxton, S., Cooper, A., Markowitz, S., Duran, C., Thierer, T., Ashton, B., Mentjies, P., Drummond, A. (2012) Geneious Basic: an integrated and extendable
desktop software platform for the organization and analysis of sequence data. Bioinformatics 28:1647-1649.

Kiparissis, S., Loukovitis, D., Batargias, C. (2012) First record of the Bermuda sea chub Kyphosus saltatrix (Pisces: Kyphosidae) in Greek waters. Marine Biodiversity Records 5, e11.

Knudsen, S.W., Clements, K.D. (2013) Revision of the fish family Kyphosidae (Teleostei: Perciformes). Zootaxa 3751:1-101.

Knudsen, S.W., Clements, K.D. (2016) World-wide species distributions in the family Kyphosidae (Teleostei: Perciformes). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 101:252-266

Lelong, P. (2012) A new record of Bermuda sea chub, Kyphosus saltatrix (Linnaeus, 1758), (Osteichthyes, Kyphosidae) from Galite Islands. Life 18:3-7.

Ligas, A., Sartor, P., Sbrana, M., De Ranieri, S. (2011) A new record of Kyphosus saltatrix (Pisces: Kyphosidae) along the Italian coasts (north-western Mediterranean). Marine Biodiversity Records 4, e6.

Mannino, A.M., Balistreri, P., Iaciofano, D., Galil, B.S., Lo Brutto, S. (2015) An additional record of Kyphosus vaigiensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825) (Osteichthyes, Kyphosidae) from Sicily clarifies the confused situation of the Mediterranean
kyphosids. Zootaxa 3963(1): 45-54.

Merella, P., Massuti, E., Deudero, S. (1998) On the occurrence of Kyphosus sectator (Osteichthyes: Kyphosidae) in the western Mediterranean. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 78:687-690.

Smith, M.M., Heemstra, P.C. (1986) Smith’s Sea Fishes. Springer-Verlag, New York, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 603-605.

Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A., Galil, B. (2010) Marine alien species as an aspect of global change. Advances in Oceanography and Limnology 1:199-218.

Orsi-Relini, L., Costa, M.R., Relini, M. (2010) First record of the yellow sea chub Kyphosus incisor in the Mediterranean. Marine Biodiversity Records 3: e4.

Palumbi, S.R. (1996) Nucleic Acids II: The Polymerase Chain Reaction. In: Molecular Systematics (eds., D.M., Hillis, C., Moritz, B.K., Mable). Sinauer Associates, Massachusetts, pp. 205-247.

Sakai, K., Nakabo, T. (1995) Taxonomic review of the Indo-Pacific kyphosid fish, Kyphosus vaigiensis (Quoy and Gaimard). Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 42: 61-70.

Sakai, K., Nakabo, T. (2014) Taxonomic review of Kyphosus (Pisces: Kyphosidae) in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans. Ichthyological Research 61: 265-292.

Turan, C., Erguden, D., Gürlek, M. (2016) Climate change and biodiversity effects in Turkish Seas. Natural and Engineering Sciences 1(2):15-24

Vella, A., Agius Darmanin, S., Vella, N. (2015a) Morphological and genetic barcoding study confirming the first Stegastes variabilis (Castelnau, 1855) report in the Mediterranean Sea. Mediterranean Marine Science 16(3): 609-612.

Vella, A., Agius Darmanin, S., Vella, N. (2016b) The first records of Indo-Pacific sergeant Abudefduf vaigiensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825) and further notes on the occurrence of sergeant major A. saxatilis (Linnaeus, 1758) in Malta: expanding populations of an invasive genus in the Mediterranean Sea. Journal of the Black Sea/Mediterranean Environment 22(1):1-15.

Vella, A., Vella, N., Agius Darmanin, S. (2015b) First record of Lutjanus fulviflamma (Osteichthyes: Lutjanidae) in the Mediterranean Sea. Journal of the Black Sea/Mediterranean Environment 21(3): 307-315.

Vella, A, Vella, N., Agius Darmanin, S. (2016a) The first record of the African sergeant, Abudefduf hoefleri (Perciformes: Pomacentridae), in the Mediterranean Sea. Marine Biodiversity Records 9(1):1-5.