First record of Acanthosiphonia echinata (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) in the Mediterranean Sea, molecular and morphological characterization.
In this study we report the first finding of the red alga Acanthosiphonia echinata in the Mediterranean Sea. Specimens were identified using the DNA barcoding method and, In particular, the plastidlal thcL and the mitochondria COI-5P markers. This species has been considered to be restricted to the western Atlantic and was reported in blooms from North Carolina to South Carolina. In 2015 the introduction of this species in Southeast Asia (Indonesia) was reported. Probably this taxon was introduced in the Mediterranean Sea from Indonesian populations associated with seaweed farming activities or hull fouling, via the western Atlantic-Mediterranean-Indonesia ship route.