First record of the starfish Luidia atlantidea Madsen, 1950 in the Mediterranean Sea, with evidence of persistent populations
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AuthorsGallardo-Roldan, Helena; Urra, J. (Javier); García-Jiménez, M.T. (María Teresa); Lozano-Fernández, M. (Matías); Antit, Mouna; Baro, J. (Jorge); Rueda, J.L. (José Luis)
The starfish Luidia atlantidea, an echinoderm known hitherto from infralittoral and circalittoral bottoms of the northwestern African coasts, is reported for the first time in the European margin and in the Mediterranean Sea. A total of 31 specimens of different sizes (disc diameters from 0.8 to 2.9 cm) were collected from the mechanized dredges fleet targeting four commercial bivalves (Acanthocardia tuberculata, Callista chione, Chamelea gallina, Donax trunculus) between February and July 2013 in the northern Alboran Sea (southern Spain). Most individuals had broken arms due to the collecting gear. The specimens were generally collected in low numbers, at shallower depths (1-11 m) than the bathymetric range reported for this species along the northwestern African coasts (10-80 m). The data provided here, and supported by old specimens collected between 1980-1990, suggests that local populations of L. atlantidea occur in shallow infralittoral soft bottoms of the northern Alboran ...
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