Russian Journal of Biological Invasions

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 192–198 | Cite as

The First Finding of the Oriental Shrimp Palaemon macrodactylus Rathbun, 1902 (Crustacea: Decapoda, Palaemonidae) in the Territorial Waters of Russia in the Azov–Black Sea Basin

  • V. A. TimofeevEmail author
  • U. V. SimakovaEmail author
  • V. A. SpiridonovEmail author


Oriental shrimp (Palaemon macrodactylus Rathbun, 1902) was recorded for the first time in the waters of the European part of Russia in the Kerch Strait (Sea of Azov, Chushka Spit coast, Krasnodar krai, Russia) in July 2018. The species natural geographic range is located in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, while the invasion range includes the Atlantic coastal waters of Europe, the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the United States, and the coast of Argentina. An egg-bearing female was caught, and it had some morphological differences in the armature and relative length of rostrum compared to the specimens collected in the marginal population of the natural distribution range (Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan). P. macrodactylus was first discovered in the Black Sea at the Romanian coast in 2002; since that time, its occurrence in the region has increased significantly. The invasion with the ballast waters is the most probable vector, although the dispersal of larvae with the sea currents cannot be excluded. In this case, established but still hidden populations are expected to be discovered in the coastal waters of Turkey and Georgia. P. macrodactylus is an active invader, colonizing transitional waters, where it should be monitored in order to forecast consequences for local species and ecosystems.


Palaemon macrodactylus alien species morphological variation shipping transitional waters possible impact Black Sea Kerch Strait 



We are grateful to V.L. Semin, S.E. Anosov, and A.A. Maiss for their help during field work, A.K. Zalota for methodological recommendations on the egg counting in the shrimp, and A.A. Kovalevskii for his help in photo processing. We are extremely grateful to R.N. Burukovskii for reviewing the article and comments made.


Field work in the Kerch Strait was carried out in 2018 within the framework of State Tasks for IO RAS no. 0149-2019-0008 “Marine and Oceanic Ecosystems in a Changing Climate and under Anthropogenic Impact: The Structure and Biological Productivity of the Ecosystem of the Arctic Basin and Seas of Russia, Ecosystems and Potential Biological Resources of the Open Ocean” and IMBR RAS no. 0828-2018-0002 “Regularities of Formation and Anthropogenic Transformation of Biodiversity and Biological Resources of the Azov-Black Sea Basin and Other Areas of the World Ocean.” The field work in Peter the Great Bay and the manuscript preparation were supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project no. 16-04-01526, “Scales and Features of the Endemism of the Fauna of Crustacea Decapoda in the Seas of Russia.”


Conflict of interests. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement on the welfare of animals. All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kovalevsky Institute of Marine Biological Research, Russian Academy of SciencesSevastopolRussia
  2. 2.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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