On the occurrence of Coronaster briareus (Echinodermata, Forcipulatida, Asteriidae) in the Mediterranean Sea

  • Julian Evans
  • Leyla Knittweis
  • Ricardo Aguilar
  • Helena Alvarez
  • Joseph A. Borg
  • Silvia Garcia
  • Patrick J. Schembri
Original Paper

Abstract

The sea star Coronaster briareus (Verrill Am J Sci (Ser III), 1882) is reported for the first time from the Mediterranean Sea. A total of 26 individuals were sighted in Maltese waters during ROV surveys made in July 2015 and June–July 2016. The identity of the species was confirmed through morphological examination of a specimen collected in June 2016. This identification is discussed in the light of inconsistencies in the published descriptions of species of Coronaster recorded from the Atlantic, and of individuals belonging to this genus recorded from the eastern Atlantic and whose coloration does not match that of C. briareus or C. volsellatus (the only species of Coronaster hitherto known from the Atlantic). The presence of numerous individuals of C. briareus in Maltese waters, recorded on two occasions a year apart over a relatively large area, indicates that there is an established population. This represents a considerable expansion of the distribution range of this species, which is mostly known from the western Atlantic. Possible reasons for its presence in Maltese waters are discussed, but the dynamics of the occurrence of C. briareus in the central Mediterranean remain unknown.

Keywords

Deep sea Malta Newcomer Range expansion ROV Sicily channel 

References

  1. Álvarez H, Perry AL, Blanco J, Aguilar R (2016) Expedición 2014 ‘Atlantic Seamounts’ – El Hierro y montañas submarinas. Oceana, MadridGoogle Scholar
  2. Angeletti L, Taviani M (2011) Entrapment, preservation and incipient fossilization of benthic predatory molluscs within deep-water coral frames in the Mediterranean Sea. Geobios 44:543–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Angeletti L, Ceregato A, Ghirelli M, Gualandi B, Lipparini E, Malatesta D, Sperotti A, Taviani M (2010) ROV-SCUBA integrated survey of the Montecristo Island Nature Reserve (Tuscan Archipelago National Park, Mediterranean Sea). Underw Technol 29(3):151–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Angeletti L, Taviani M, Canese S, Foglini F, Mastrototaro F, Argnani A, Trincardi F, Bakran-Petricioli T, Ceregato A, Chimienti G, Mačić V, Poliseno A (2014) New deep-water cnidarian sites in the southern Adriatic Sea. Mediterr Mar Sci 15:263–273Google Scholar
  5. Bouchet P, Taviani M (1992) The Mediterranean deep-sea fauna: pseudopopulations of Atlantic species? Deep-Sea Res Part A 39:169–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cartes JE, Maynou F, Fanelli E, Romano C, Mamouridis V, Papiol V (2009) The distribution of megabenthic, invertebrate epifauna in the Balearic Basin (western Mediterranean) between 400 and 2300 m: environmental gradients influencing assemblages composition and biomass trends. J Sea Res 61:244–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chao S-M (2000) New records of sea stars (Asteroidea: Echinodermata) from the continental shelf of Taiwan. Zool Stud 39:275–284Google Scholar
  8. Clark AM, Downey ME (1992) Starfishes of the Atlantic. Chapman and Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Coll M, Piroddi C, Steenbeek J, Kaschner K, Ben Rais Lasram F, Aguzzi J, Ballesteros E, Bianchi CN, Corbera J, Dailianis T, Danovaro R, Estrada M, Froglia C, Galil BS, Gasol JM, Gertwagen R, Gil J, Guilhaumon F, Kesner-Reyes K, Kitsos M-S, Koukouras A, Lampadariou N, Laxamana E, López-Fé de la Cuadra CM, Lotze HK, Martin D, Mouillot D, Oro D, Raicevich S, Rius-Barile J, Saiz-Salinas JI, San Vicente C, Somot S, Templado J, Turon X, Vafidis D, Villanueva R, Voultsiadou E (2010) The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threats. PLoS ONE 5(8), e11842. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011842 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Danovaro R, Company JB, Corinaldesi C, D’Onghia G, Galil B, Gambi C, Gooday AJ, Lampadariou N, Luna GM, Morigi C, Olu K, Polymenakou P, Ramirez-Llodra E, Sabbatini A, Sardà F, Sibuet M, Tselepides A (2010) Deep-sea biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea: the known, the unknown, and the unknowable. PLoS ONE 5(8), e11832. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011832 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Deidun A, Andaloro F, Bavestrello G, Canese S, Consoli P, Micallef A, Romeo T, Bo M (2015) First characterisation of a Leiopathes glaberrima (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Antipatharia) forest in Maltese exploited fishing grounds. Ital J Zool 82:271–280Google Scholar
  12. Downey ME (1973) Starfishes of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Smithsonian Contribution to Zoology No. 126. Smithsonian Institution, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  13. Evans J, Barbara J, Schembri PJ (2015) Updated review of marine alien species and other ‘newcomers’ recorded from the Maltese Islands (Central Mediterranean). Mediterr Mar Sci 16:225–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fabri M-C, Pedel L, Beuck L, Galgani F, Hebbeln D, Freiwald A (2014) Megafauna of vulnerable marine ecosystems in French Mediterranean submarine canyons: spatial distribution and anthropogenic impacts. Deep-Sea Res II 104:184–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fisher WK (1917) The Asteroid genus Coronaster. P Biol Soc Was 30:22–26Google Scholar
  16. Fisher WK (1919) Starfishes of the Philippine Seas and adjacent waters. United States national museum, bulletin 100 volume 3. Government Printing Office, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  17. Fonseca P, Abrantes F, Aguilar R, Campos A, Cunha M, Ferreira D, Fonseca TP, García S, Henriques V, Machado M, Mechó A, Relvas P, Rodrigues CF, Salgueiro E, Vieira R, Weetman A, Castro M (2014) A deep-water crinoid Leptometra celtica bed off the Portuguese south coast. Mar Biodiv 44:223–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Freiwald A, Beuck L, Rüggeberg A, Taviani M, Hebbeln D, R/V METEOR Cruise M70–1 Participants (2009) The white coral community in the central Mediterranean Sea revealed by ROV surveys. Oceanography 22:58–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Galil BS, Marchini A, Occhipinti-Ambrogi A, Minchin D, Narščius A, Ojaveer H, Olenin S (2014) International arrivals: widespread bioinvasions in European Seas. Ethol Ecol Evol 26:152–171CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Gebruk AV, Bluhm H, Soltwedel T, Thiel H (2003) A re-description of the enigmatic deep-sea holothurian Irpa abyssicola (Elpidiidae, Elasipodida) with remotely operated vehicle observations on benthic organisms in the Norwegian-Greenland Basin. Sarsia 88:49–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hebbeln D, Wienberg C, Beuck L, Freiwald A, Wintersteller P, and cruise participants (2009) Report and preliminary results of RV POSEIDON Cruise POS 385 “Cold-Water Corals of the Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean Sea)”, Faro - Toulon, May 29 - June 16, 2009. Berichte aus dem Fachbereich Geowissenschaften der Universität Bremen, No. 273. Bremen University, BremenGoogle Scholar
  22. Hiyashi R (1943) Contributions to the classification of the sea-stars of Japan. II. Forcipulata, with note on the relationships between the skeletal structure and respiratory organs of the sea-stars. J Fac Sci Hokkaido Imp Univ, Ser VI Zool 8:133–281Google Scholar
  23. Hudson IR, Wigham BD, Tyler PA (2004) The feeding behaviour of a deep-sea holothurian, Stichopus tremulus (Gunnerus) based on in situ observations and experiments using a Remotely Operated Vehicle. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 301:75–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hughes SJM, Jones DOB, Hauton C, Gates AR, Hawkins LE (2010) An assessment of drilling disturbance on Echinus acutus var. norvegicus based on in-situ observations and experiments using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 395:37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ives JE (1888) On two new species of starfishes. P Acad Nat Sci Phila 40:421–424Google Scholar
  26. Koehler R (1895) Dragages profonds exécutés à bord du “Caudan” dans le golfe de Gascogne (août-septembre 1895). Rapport préliminaire sur les Échinodermes. Rev Biol Nord Fr 7:439–496Google Scholar
  27. Koehler R (1896) Résultats scientifiques de la campagne du “Caudan” dans le golfe de Gascogne, août-septembre 1895. Ann Univ Lyon 26:1–740Google Scholar
  28. Koukouras A, Sinis AI, Bobori D, Kazantzidis S, Kitsos M-S (2007) The echinoderm (Deuterostomia) fauna of the Aegean Sea, and comparison with those of the neighbouring seas. J Biol Res 7:67–92Google Scholar
  29. Mah C, Hansson H (2016) Coronaster Perrier, 1885. World Register of Marine Species. http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=123232. Accessed 10 Aug 2016
  30. McKnight DG (2006) The Marine Fauna of New Zealand: Echinodermata: Asteroidea (Sea-stars). 3. Orders Velatida, Spinulosida, Forcipulatida, Brisingida with addenda to Paxillosida, Valvatida. NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, WellingtonGoogle Scholar
  31. Mecho A, Billett DSM, Ramírez-Llodra E, Aguzzi J, Tyler PA, Company JB (2014) First records, rediscovery and compilation of deep-sea echinoderms in the middle and lower continental slope of the Mediterranean Sea. Sci Mar 78:281–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Messing CG, Walker BK, Dodge RE, Reed J, Brooke SD (2006) Calypso LNG Deepwater Port Project, Florida: Marine Benthic Video Survey. http://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facreports/77. Accessed 10 Aug 2016
  33. Mifsud C, Taviani M, Stöhr S (2009) Remarks on Echinodermata from the South Central Mediterranean Sea based upon collections made during the MARCOS cruise (10 to 20th April, 2007). Mediterr Mar Sci 10(2):63–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Oceana (2014) The seamounts of the Gorringe bank. http://eu.oceana.org/en/publications/reports/seamounts-gorringe-bank-1. Accessed 10 Aug 2016
  35. Orejas C, Gori A, Lo Iacono C, Puig P, Gili J-M, Dale MRT (2009) Cold-water corals in the Cap de Creus canyon, northwestern Mediterranean: spatial distribution, density and anthropogenic impact. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 397:37–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Patarnello T, Volckaert FAMJ, Castilho R (2007) Pillars of Hercules: is the Atlantic–Mediterranean transition a phylogeographical break? Mol Ecol 16:4426–4444CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Pawson DL, Vance DJ, Messing CG, Solís-Marín FA, Mah CL (2009) Echinodermata of the Gulf of Mexico. In: Felder DL, Camp DK (eds) Gulf of Mexico origin, waters and biota, vol I, Biodiversity. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, pp 1177–1204Google Scholar
  38. Perrier E (1884) Mémoire sur les étoiles de mer recueilliés dans la mer des Antilles et le golfe du Mexique durant les expéditions de dragage faites sous la direction de M. Alexandre Agassiz. Nouvelles Arch du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle 2(6):127–276Google Scholar
  39. Perrier E (1885) Premiére note préliminaire des les Échinodermes, recueillis durant les campagnes de dragages sous-marines du Travailleur et du Talisman. Ann Sci Nat Zool 22(8):1–72Google Scholar
  40. Perrier E (1894) Échinodermes. Expéditions scientifiques du Travailleur et du Talisman pendant les années 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883, 3:1–431Google Scholar
  41. Ramirez-Llodra E, Company JB, Sardà F, Rotllant G (2010) Megabenthic diversity patterns and community structure of the Blanes submarine canyon and adjacent slope in the Northwestern Mediterranean: a human overprint? Mar Ecol 31:167–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schembri PJ, Dimech M, Camilleri M, Page R (2007) Living deep-water Lophelia and Madrepora corals in Maltese waters (Strait of Sicily, Mediterranean Sea). Cah Biol Mar 48:77–83Google Scholar
  43. Sladen WP (1889) Report on the Asteroidea. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–1876. Zoology 30:1–893Google Scholar
  44. Taviani M, Freiwald A, Beuck L, Angeletti L, Remia A, Vertino A, Dimech M, Schembri PJ (2010) The deepest known occurrence of the precious red coral Corallium rubrum (L. 1758) in the Mediterranean Sea. In: Bussoletti E, Cottingham D, Bruckner A, Roberts G, Sandulli R (eds), Proceedings of the International Workshop on Red Coral Science, Management, and Trade: Lessons from the Mediterranean. NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP-13, Silver Spring, MD, USA, 87–93Google Scholar
  45. Taviani M, Angeletti L, Canese S, Cannas R, Cardone F, Cau A, Cau A, Follesa MC, Marchese F, Montagna P, Tessarolo C (2016) The “Sardinian cold-water coral province” in the context of the Mediterranean coral ecosystems. Deep-Sea Res II. doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.12.008i Google Scholar
  46. Tecchio S, Ramírez-Llodra E, Sardà F, Company JB, Palomera I, Mechó A, Pedrosa-Pàmies R, Sanchez-Vidal A (2011) Drivers of deep Mediterranean megabenthos communities along longitudinal and bathymetric gradients. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 439:181–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Terribile K, Evans J, Knittweis L, Schembri PJ (2016) Maximising MEDITS: using data collected from trawl surveys to characterise the benthic and demersal assemblages of the circalittoral and deeper waters around the Maltese Islands (Central Mediterranean). Reg Stud Mar Sci 3:163–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tintoré J, Viúdez A, Gomis D, Alonso S, Werner FE (1994) Mesoscale variability and Q vector vertical motion in the Alboran Sea. In: La Viollette PE (ed), Seasonal and Interannual Variability of the Western Mediterranean Sea. Coastal Estuarine Studies, vol. 46. AGU, Washington, pp 47–71Google Scholar
  49. Valdés Á, Alexander J, Crocetta F, Yokeş MB, Giacobbe S, Poursanidis D, Zenetos A, Cervera JL, Caballer M, Galil BS, Schembri PJ (2013) The origin and dispersal pathway of the spotted sea hare Aplysia dactylomela (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia) in the Mediterranean Sea. Aquat Invasions 8:427–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Vermeij GJ (2012) The tropical history and future of the Mediterranean biota and the West African enigma. J Biogeogr 39:31–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Verrill AE (1882) Notice of the remarkable marine fauna occupying the outer banks off the Southern coast of New England, No. 4. Am J Sci (Ser III) 23:216–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Verrill AE (1884) Notice of the remarkable marine fauna occupying the outer banks off the Southern coast of New England, and of some additions to the fauna of Vineyard Sound. Report Commissioner U S Commission Fish Fisheries 1882(10):641–666Google Scholar
  53. Verrill AE (1914) Monograph of the shallow-water starfishes of the North Pacific coast from the Arctic Ocean to California. Harriman Alaska Series 14:1–408Google Scholar
  54. Vertino A, Savini A, Rosso A, Di Geronimo I, Mastrototaro F, Sanfilippo R, Gay G, Etiope G (2010) Benthic habitat characterization and distribution from two representative sites of the deep-water SML Coral Province (Mediterranean). Deep-Sea Res II 57:380–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Young CM, Sewell MA, Tyler PA, Metaxas A (1997) Biogeographic and bathymetric ranges of Atlantic deep-sea echinoderms and ascidians: the role of larval dispersal. Biodivers Conserv 6:1507–1522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Ziesenhenne FC (1942) New Eastern Pacific Sea Stars. Alan Hancock Pacific Expeditions 8:197–224Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MaltaMsidaMalta
  2. 2.Fundacion OceanaMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations