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Title: The origin and dispersal pathway of the spotted sea hare Aplysia dactylomela (Mollusca : Opisthobranchia) in the Mediterranean Sea
Authors: Valdes, Angel
Alexander, Jennifer
Crocetta, Fabio
Yokes, Baki M.
Giacobbe, Salvatore
Poursanidis, Dimitris
Zenetos, Argyro
Cervera, Juan Lucas
Caballer, Manuel
Galil, Bella S.
Schembri, Patrick J.
Keywords: Aplysiidae -- Mediterranean Region
Nudibranchia -- Mediterranean Region
Sea snails -- Mediterranean Region
Mollusks -- Mediterranean Region
Opisthobranchia -- Mediterranean Region
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre (REABIC)
Citation: Valdés, Á., Alexander, J., Crocetta, F., Yokeş, M. B., Giacobbe, S., Poursanidis, D., ... & Schembri, P. J. (2013). The origin and dispersal pathway of the spotted sea hare Aplysia dactylomela (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia) in the Mediterranean Sea. Aquatic Invasions, 8(4).
Abstract: The spotted sea hare Aplysia dactylomela Rang, 1828 is a large and conspicuous opisthobranch sea slug that since 2002 has rapidly colonized the eastern Mediterranean, establishing populations in numerous localities. The source of the Mediterranean populations has been the subject of debate, with two main hypotheses considered (Atlantic and Red Sea origin). A recent study on the taxonomy of A. dactylomela has shown that the spotted sea hare is a complex of at least two genetically distinct species (A. dactylomela in the Atlantic and A. argus in the Indo-Pacific), facilitating the correct identification of Mediterranean specimens by molecular means. We used sequence data from the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene to identify the Mediterranean individuals for the first time and to infer their origin. Our results confirmed that all the specimens collected in the Mediterranean belong to A. dactylomela and therefore have an Atlantic origin. The limited sample size does not allow identification of the dispersal pathway of A. dactylomela into the Mediterranean, but the colonization sequence is consistent with a “natural” dispersal event. This hypothesis is evaluated in light of local surface circulation patterns. Possible causes for the recent and rapid invasion of the eastern Mediterranean by A. dactylomela are discussed.
ISSN: 17986540
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacSciBio

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