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Author Topic: Alien Species in Malta?  (Read 9019 times)
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Arti2
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« on: April 28, 2008, 08:27:44 CET »

I am starting this topic as every now and then because of climate change new species of flora and fauna are being introduced in Maltese waters. Some fish like barracudas, dusky spinefoot, cornet fish and other invertebrates.
So I am posting some pics of some of the species I find uncommon to discuss if they were in our waters or not and if they are new, know their name and if they are poisonous or not?
The first two I am posting are an orange sea urchin and an eight legged starfish shown here:


Anyone who encounters new species post here .
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Arti2
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 08:36:07 CET »

Another species from red sea is the sally lightfoot crab shown here.


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Arti2
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 11:22:03 CET »

Also last summer at Birzebbuga on the sand I saw these bottom transperent jellyfish. The thing is they sting too and it's hard to see them without a mask. I saw quite a good ammount of these jellyfish. Anyone knows there name? They look like box jellyfish.



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Arti2
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 11:33:30 CET »

Then there is the Marbled and Dusky Spinefoots.

Marbled Spinefoot Siganus rivulatus In maltese called Qawsalla.





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Arti2
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 11:41:39 CET »

Similar to the Marbled Spinefoot there is the Dusky Spinefoot Siganus luridus. No Maltese name for this fish yet.

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Arti2
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 11:48:00 CET »

The most recent fish free divers are catching is the cornet fish Fistularia petimba in the past not so common.

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lizz
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008, 16:44:58 CET »

Regarding Dusky spinefoots I cought some spearfishing>Their top spines are poisonous  like Skorfna but their meat is delicous grilled

Regards Lizz



Then there is the Marbled and Dusky Spinefoots.

Marbled Spinefoot Siganus rivulatus In maltese called Qawsalla.






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EmicMalta
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2008, 09:42:33 CET »

The orange sea urchin, I saw one under a rock in Comino 1 month ago. It was in the last point near the reef of the bay where there is the Police station. Infact i was with Giovanni and asked him what it was. I wished to take a picture of it but i didn t wanted to tuch it so was difficult to picture it.

As for the starfish I never cared counting the legs Smiley
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EmicMalta
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2008, 09:59:54 CET »

The spine fish is really poison. I tried to find the pic but coudn t find it at the moment. I ve been hit in my leg and couldn t walk. <pls take attention as how you manage ut. Its easy but the best thing is to brake ithe spine after just you handle it. It could be done by a knife
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jessijames 2
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2008, 04:53:00 CET »

Hi guys,
This is a good website and I don't mind at all to pay a members fee to keep it going. The Medina bank is full of that sea urchin.
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Arti2
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2008, 17:53:32 CET »

Mildred Magro B.Sc (Hons) M.Sc. from Ecoserv Ltd. sent me some info on the sea urchin which is called Stylocidaris affinis and is not poisonous. It is normally found in deep water from about 50m to 200m, on algal sand bottoms.
The other echinoderm the starfish is called Coscinasterias tenuispina and it can have from 6 up to 12 arms. It is normally found in shallower waters (about 0-50m) on rocky bottoms rich in algae. (Echinoderms are a group of organisms that include the sea urchins, starfish, brittle stars, sea cucumbers etc.)
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Klaws
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2008, 18:10:06 CET »

I once caught a dusky spinefoot while spearfishing and if I remember well we cooked it al cartoccio (in the oven with some white wine and herbs covered in aluminium foil). The meat was horrible.. almost inedible. In fact its the only fish I would never catch again. Maybe grilled it's different as lizz said:)
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Arti2
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2008, 11:09:45 CET »

Prof P.J. Schembri from the university who is a marine biologist sent me some info on this section.


The sea urchin shown is of a (usually) deep water sea urchin called Stylocidaris affinis. This is not an alien species but a native Mediterranean one. However, there is another species that looks quite like it but is dark brown that is an alien, introduced from the Atlantic, which has established populations inside the Grand Harbour (Kalkara Creek) and Marsamxett Harbour (Sliema Creek) at depths of less than 10m.



The starfish is a species called Coscinasterias tenuispina which is also native and quitre common. Having 7-9 arms of unequal length is a characteristic of this species.



The crab shown is indeed an alien species sometimes called the 'Sally Lightfoot Crab'. However, it does not come from the Red Sea but tropical and substropical regions of the west and east Atlantic and the east Pacific. The scientific name is Percnon gibbesi and it was first recorded from Malta in 2001 and has since spread rapidly to become on of the commonest shallow water crabs locally.



The 'cubic' jellyfish  are indeed a species of box-jellyfish. This is a native Mediterranean species called Carybdea marsupialis which is the only Mediterranean species of box-jellyfish (technically, the Cubozoa). This species is an even more potent stinger than the larger and much commoner 'Purple Stinger' that has plagued Maltese shores in recent years. Avoid contact with this dangerous species.



Two species of alien Rabbitfishes have established themselves in the Mediterranean. Both have entered from the Suez Canal, spread in the eastern Mediterranean and have now reached the Central Mediterranean. One species, Siganus luridus is now well established in the Maltese Islands. The other species, Siganus rivulatus has been recorded from Malta but these records need to be confirmed by examination of actual specimens or very good quality photographs, since the two species of Siganus are very similar to each other. The photographs labelled as 'Siganus rivulatus' on the forum do indeed appear to show this species, but there is no indication if these photographs were taken in local waters; if they were, these probably confirm the occurrence of this species locally.





The final photographs show a Cornetfish, which is another alien species that has recently reached the Maltese islands -- however the species in Malta is Fistularia commersonii which has entered the Mediterranean from the Red Sea via the Suez Canal. It is now also quite common in Malta. The other Fistularia in the Mediterranean is Fistularia pertimba which has entered the Mediterranea from the Atlantic via Gibraltar, but so far this species is only known from the far western Mediterranean (Spain).



So on some of the species I was mistaken as they were native. I also told Prof. P.J.Schembri that if anyone in this forum 'discovers' any species I'll let him know and if possible send him photos.
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Arti2
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2009, 08:42:54 CET »

Another alien species is the dangerous Portugese Man o War (Physalia physalis)



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Arti2
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2009, 08:53:39 CET »

http://u.tv/News/Potentially-lethal-Portuguese-men-of-war-seen-off-Mediterranean-beaches/7e62d8dc-318a-4a75-aa3c-880cce407c83
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