In this study, we document the introduction of the Australian endemic Istiblennius meleagris into the Mediterranean Sea, probably via shipping, and its expansion along the Israeli coastline. Taxonomic confirmations were based on both morphological and molecular approaches. This is the first evidence of a non-indigenous benthic fish colonizing the rocky intertidal zone in the eastern Mediterranean, thus raising concerns regarding the future integrity of the native fish community in this ecosystem.
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We wish to thank Gil Burg and Shmuel Landau for sharing their initial observations with us, and Dr. D. Golani for his useful advice. We would also like to thank N. Paz for editing the manuscript, the editors of Biological Invasions and the anonymous reviewers of the manuscript.
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Rothman, S.B.S., Gayer, K. & Stern, N. A long-distance traveler: the peacock rockskipper Istiblennius meleagris (Valenciennes, 1836) on the Mediterranean intertidal reefs. Biol Invasions 22, 2401–2408 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-020-02277-7
- Levant basin
- Maritime shipping
- Invasive species
- Intertidal reefs