New marine wildlife discoveries in Maltese waters

This vide is called Malta Diving Adventure: Marine Life.

From the Times of Malta:

Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 12:23

73 new species recorded in Maltese waters

A total of 61 authenticated alien species and another five unconfirmed ones were recorded in Maltese waters by the end of last year, according to an extensive survey Julian Evans, Jacqueline Barbara and Patrick J Schembri, from the university’s Department of Biology.

Analysis of the known or probable mode of arrival of these species indicated that the most common mode of introduction was through boating and shipping.

Other species were first introduced elsewhere in the Mediterranean and then managed to spread to the Maltese Islands under their own steam.

Thirty of these records were made since the turn of the century, clearly indicating that the rate of new records was at an all-time high. This was likely due to the present day warming trend of Mediterranean surface water, which favoured the occurrence, establishment and range extension of warm-water species in the central Mediterranean.

The researchers also documented another phenomenon – the spread of Atlantic warm-water species to the central Mediterranean – which was almost certainly related to this warming trend. To date, seven such species have been recorded in the Maltese Islands, so the total number of new species (aliens + Atlantic range extenders) now stood at 73.

Overall, the most represented groups were molluscs (21 species), fish (15 species), crustaceans (eight species) and red algae (seven species).

More than half of the newcomers (38 species) established breeding populations, while a further eight species were considered to be invasive.

These species were the seaweeds Lophocladia lallemandii, Womersleyella setacea and Caulerpa cylindracea, the bivalve Crachidontes pharaonis, the crab Percnon gibbesi, and the fish Fistularia commersonii, Siganus luridus and Sphoeroides pachygaster.

The latter species, a pufferfish, was particularly interesting because it was one of the Atlantic species that extended their range to reach the central Mediterranean independent of any human involvement, and was therefore not considered to be an alien species.

2 thoughts on “New marine wildlife discoveries in Maltese waters

  1. Pingback: Azores bullfinch saved | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: European, worldwide bird news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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