Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

First record of Phyllorhiza punctata von lendenfeld, 1884 (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae) in Libya through social media data mining.

Abstract

The white-spotted jellyfish Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld, 1884, native to the Indo-Pacific, is a well-established alien species in the Mediterranean Sea, with records from several countries in the eastern and the western part of the basin. We hereby first record this taxon from Libya based on postings made on the Facebook® social media website by a recreational spear-fisherman who took images of a specimen at Misratah, to the west of the country. The finding date reported here is almost in sync with records held in the neighbouring Mediterranean countries, solidifying the importance of social media as an effective retrospective tool by providing information that were otherwise lost. There are no certainties regarding possible pathway(s) of arrival of P. punctata in Libya. However, shipping or natural dispersal from nearby populations in the Mediterranean Sea constitute the most probable ones.