Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Occurrence of puffer fishes (Tetraodontidae) in the eastern Mediterranean, Egyptian coast - filling in the gap.

Abstract

The occurrence of puffer fish species along the Egyptian Mediterranean coast was evaluated using samples obtained from the commercial fishing operations during 2012-2015. Six species were identified: Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1789), Lagocephalus suezensis Clark and Gohar, 1953, Lagocephalus guentheri Miranda Ribeiro, 1915, Lagocephalus lagocephalus (Linnaeus, 1758), Torquigener flavimaculosus Hardy & Randall, 1983 and Sphoeroides pachygaster (Müller & Troschel, 1848). Of these, L. guentheri, L. suezensis, S. pachygaster and T. flavimaculosus were recorded for first time in the Egyptian Mediterranean waters. Pufferfishes were captured from sandy, rocky and muddy-bottom habitats from shallow waters to more than 150 m deep. The presence of different tropical puffer fish species in the Egyptian Mediterranean waters reflects the ongoing Lessepsian migration and expansion of its distributions, particularly for L. sceleratus which was the common distributed one along the coast. This study filled in a major the gap in records of species' distributions and is further evidence of the changing of biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea, which may affect the ecosystem and the commercial fisheries. The results emphasize the need for a continuous, directed, monitoring and management plan for the detection and abundance monitoring of alien species.