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Hydroids (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) from the Levant Sea (mainly Lebanon), with emphasis on alien species

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 October 2008

Carla Morri*
Affiliation:
DipTeRis, Dipartimento per lo studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse, Università di Genova, Corso Europa 26, I-16132 Genova, Italy
Stefania Puce
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Scienze del Mare, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona, Italy
Carlo Nike Bianchi
Affiliation:
DipTeRis, Dipartimento per lo studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse, Università di Genova, Corso Europa 26, I-16132 Genova, Italy
Ghazi Bitar
Affiliation:
Lebanese University, Faculty of Sciences, Hadath, Lebanon
Helmut Zibrowius
Affiliation:
Station Marine d'Endoume, Rue de la Batterie des Lions, F-13007 Marseille, France
Giorgio Bavestrello
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Scienze del Mare, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona, Italy
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: Carla Morri, DipTeRis, Dipartimento per lo studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse, Università di Genova, Corso Europa 26, I-16132 Genova, Italy email: morric@dipteris.unige.it

Abstract

Despite the hydroid fauna of the Mediterranean Sea being considered one of the best known in the world, the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea remains nearly unexplored. This paper reports on 38 species collected along the Levant Sea coast (mainly Lebanon), of which three are new records for the Mediterranean and nine for the Levant Sea. Six alien species, i.e. Eudendrium carneum, Sertularia marginata, Sertularia techocarpa, Macrorhynchia philippina, Diphasia digitalis and Dynamena quadridentata, are described in detail and illustrated on the basis of Levant Sea material. The last four species are considered as immigrants from the Red Sea. The synonymy of Sertularia stechowi, described from Japan, with S. techocarpa is established. Taken as a whole, the collection comprised a majority of circum-(sub)tropical species, and a reduced proportion of Atlantic–Mediterranean elements and Mediterranean endemics. The ecology (seasonality, depth distribution and habitat preference) of the indigenous species resulted similar to what is known for the more studied western Mediterranean, with some exceptions. Adding the present species inventory to the scanty published information, the total of hydroid species known from the Levant Sea rises to 70, indicating the need for future investigation in this sector of the Mediterranean Sea.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2008

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