Extended distribution of Phtisica marina Slabber, 1769 (Crustacea: Amphipoda): first observation of alien caprellid in the coastal waters of Indian subcontinent.
Phtisica marina, originally described by Slabber, 1769 from Netherlands, is one of the most abundant caprellid amphipod species reported from numerous regions around the globe and is primarily associated with fouling communities in harbours. This study chronicles the further spreading out of P. marina into the Indian coastal waters. During a regular coastal survey in Gulf of Kachchh (Northwest coast of India), an established population of P. marina was observed in the subtidal regions of Vadinar and Sikka during April 2017. The caprellid could be a possible alien species in Indian waters as the species met the criteria for exotic taxa. The most possible introductory vectors and pathways are discussed in this study. As this species can survive in the stressed environments of low hydrodynamics and it has opportunistic behaviour, further studies are necessary to reveal its potential impact on local communities.