Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

New occurrence of Pinctada imbricata radiata (Leach, 1814) in the Balearic Archipelago (NW Mediterranean Sea).

Abstract

The presence of Pinctada imbricata radiata (rayed pearl oyster) was explored in the Bay of Palma (Balearic Archipelago, NW Mediterranean Sea) by means of Rapid Assessment Surveys (RAS). Forty-three specimens were found in rocky substrates from recreational marinas and neighbouring natural habitats, including Cabrera National Park. Average hinge length was 26.8 ± 13.3 mm and average shell height was 28.6 ± 16.2 mm; a maximum size of 55.6 × 55.9 mm was measured. The main occurrence of the exotic oyster in marinas, and also far away in Cabrera, points to maritime transport as the primary introduction vector; whereas records in the adjacent natural habitats suggest secondary spread by natural dispersal has occurred. Considering the populations of P. imbricata radiata documented in the Balearic Archipelago, the bivalve seems to be well established in the area. The study explores the potential of RAS as early detection tools for invasive species along the coastline, and recommends further assessment on the ecological impact of P. imbricata radiata in marine protected areas.