A new record and range extension of an invasive amphipod Caprella scaura Templeton, 1836 in Tunisia, North Africa

Sahar Chebaane, Moez Shaiek, Rym Zakhama-Sraieb

Association Notre Grand Bleu (NGB, NGO), Diar El Marina, 5000 Monastir, TUNISIA
University of Monastir, Higher Institute of Biotechnology of Monastir, Research Laboratory Bioresources, Biology Integrative and Valorization LR14ES06, Monastir, TUNISIA
Association Méditerranée Action-Nature(MAN, NGO), 01 rue d’Istanbul, 7000 Bizerte, TUNISIA
University of Tunis El Manar, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, Unity of Research of Bio-ecology and Evolutionary Systematics. S11UR11, Tunis, TUNISIA
University of Manouba, High Institute of Biotechnology of Sidi Thabet, BiotechPôle, BP-66, 2020 Sidi Thabet, Ariana, TUNISIA


We report the presence of the invasive amphipod Caprella scaura Templeton 1836 in the Bizerte Lagoon (North of Tunisia) in November 2017. This lagoon is approximately 100 km north from the Tunis Lagoon where the presence of C. scaura was previously recorded in 2014. This new species record is considered as the most northern in the southern Mediterranean. This invasive species was found attached to Cymodocea nodoa leaves, and the presence of adult male and gravid female specimens provides the evidence of a viable population in the site. This study showed that fouling has a positive impact on the settlement success of invasive species. We hypothesize that C. scaura was probably introduced to the Bizerte Lagoon through the fouling community on shellfish farms. We suggest that Bizerte Channel, used as commercial and fishing navigation, is an interesting area for future monitoring studies.

Keywords: Caprella scaura, invasive species, new record, Bizerte Lagoon, Tunisia

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