Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

New records of the silver-cheeked toadfish Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1789) in the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas: early detection and participatory monitoring in practice.

Abstract

The silver-cheeked toadfish Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1789) - an invasive toxic species well established in the eastern Mediterranean - is rapidly expanding through the western Basin and a public campaign was set to inform Italian citizens on the risks associated with its consumption. Both news media and local communities responded rapidly to the initiative generating an increasing flow of information. On 15 April 2016, a new capture of this species (off Briatico, Calabria, Italy at 25 m of depth), was promptly reported to the authors, representing the first documented record of L. sceleratus from the Tyrrhenian Sea. On 7 June 2016, a second specimen was captured at Montebello Ionico in Calabria. This case of early detection is here presented as a successful example of interplay among citizens, researchers, and policy makers: a powerful approach for monitoring the spread of invasive species and reducing their potential impacts through increasing awareness.