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Maja brachydactyla (Brachyura: Majidae) in the western Mediterranean

  • Pere Abelló (a1), Guillermo Guerao (a2), Francisca Salmerón (a3) and José Enrique García Raso (a4)

An ovigerous Maja spider crab was captured during a fishery research cruise in the North Alboran Sea, western Mediterranean, near the city of Malaga. From morphological characters this individual was identified as Maja brachydactyla. Prior to the specimen being returned alive back to sea, it was measured, photographed, and a portion of a pleopod excised for genetic analysis. The latter confirmed the identification as correct. An additional seven specimens collected from Caleta de Velez in the vicinity of Malaga were morphologically examined, confirming the presence of M. brachydactyla in the Alboran Sea. This finding would represent the first evidence of the species occurring in the western Mediterranean Sea, with apparently well-established populations.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: P. Abelló, Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC), Passeig Marítim 37–49, 08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain email:
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Marine Biodiversity Records
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  • EISSN: 1755-2672
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