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Two months later, another specimen measuring 249 cm in
TL and weighing 70 kg was entangled in a net (Lipej et
al., 2000). Both specimens had a typical elongated snout.
This was even more evident in the specimen of December
2014, which was also curved down.

1.4.	New record of the deep-sea Messina rockfish
    Scorpaenodes arenai in a sublittoral cave of the
    National Marine Park of Zakynthos (East Ionian
    Sea, Greece)

By V. Gerovasileiou and N. Bailly

    The Messina rockfish Scorpaenodes arenai Torchio,                                                    Fig. 5: Scorpaenodes arenai in a dark cave of the National
1962 has been rarely reported after its first description.                                               Marine Park of Zakytnhos (Photo by V. Gerovasileiou).
Only 36 specimens have been hitherto recorded in the
literature: (a) 17 stranded individuals from the Strait of                                               dark zone of a sublittoral cave constitutes a new addition
Messina; (b) 13 individuals recorded with ROV (70.9-                                                     to Mediterranean marine cave fauna (Gerovasileiou et al.,
135 m deep) in the straits of Messina, and of Sicily, and                                                2015). The species was spotted in a typical dark cave com-
in the Tyrrhenian Sea (Battaglia et al., 2015 and referenc-                                              munity dominated by serpulid polychaetes and sponges
es therein); (c) 6 individuals collected in a subtidal tunnel                                            (e.g. Agelas oroides, Dendroxea lenis, and Haliclona
and rocky bottoms (14-30 m deep) in Azores (Azevedo &                                                    mucosa). Large swarms of the shrimp Plesionika narval
Heemstra, 1995; Micael et al., 2006).                                                                    were found throughout the cave while its fish assemblage
                                                                                                         also included Anthias anthias, Apogon imberbis, Phycis
    This study reports on the observation of Scorpaenodes                                                phycis and Serranus cabrilla.
arenai along the south-western coasts of the island of
Zakynthos, inside the National Marine Park of Zakynthos                                                      The current record is the first of Scorpaenodes arenai
(Ionian Sea, Greece), approximately 450  km away from                                                    in Greek waters, expanding eastwards of its hitherto known
Messina Strait where most records were made previously.                                                  distribution. The south-western coasts of Zakynthos are
Two specimens were observed on 14 June 2015 (8:23 am)                                                    characterized by vertical cliffs often falling sharply to a
during a SCUBA dive in a submerged cave (37.647˚N,                                                       depth of >30 m and are exposed to wind-driven upwelling
20.846˚E) located at a depth range of 26-31 m. The fish                                                  currents from the open Ionian Sea. Furthermore, the lime-
was l�y�i�n�g��o��n��th��e�w��a�l�l�s�a��n�d��c�e�i�li�n�g��o��f�t�h�e��d�a�r�k��c�a�v��e��se��c�-       stone coasts of the area are perforated by numerous caves
tor (10-15 m from the entrance), often in an upside-down                                                 and crevices which could be used as refuge or “stepping
position�a�n�d��d�i�s�p�l�a�y�e�d��e�l�u�s�iv��e�b�e�h��a�v�io��u�r�(��s�w���im��m���i�n��g����r�a��p�-  stones” by deep-sea species drifting from adjacent deeper
idly away as divers were approaching) in contrast to the                                                 waters.
typical behaviour of shallow-water Scorpaena spp. Thus,
only a single individual was photographed (Fig. 5). The                                                  1.5.	New additional records of the oceanic puff-
fish length was visually estimated to approximately 10 cm.                                                   er Lagocephalus lagocephalus (Osteichthyes,
                                                                                                             Tetraodontidae) in the Adriatic Sea
    A combination of diagnostic morphological charac-
ters was used to safely identify Scorpaenodes arenai: (a)                                                By J. Dulčić and B. Dragičević
overall red-orange colour; (b) vertical reddish-brown bars
with that on the caudal peduncle not being Y-forked like                                                     The oceanic puffer Lagocephalus lagocephalus
in Helicolenus dactylopterus; (c) eye with dark iris and                                                 (Linnaues, 1758) is distributed circumglobally from the
brownish radial bands; (d) suborbital ridge with spines;                                                 tropical to temperate seas. It is primarily an oceanic, pelag-
(e) black blotch in the middle of the dorsal fin (Azevedo                                                ic species but may enter estuaries. It feeds on crustaceans
& Heemstra, 1995; Battaglia et al., 2015).                                                               and squid (Smith & Heemstra, 1986). It is represented in
                                                                                                         the Mediterranean (Tortonese, 1986) and Adriatic waters
    This is the first time Scorpaenodes arenai is ob-                                                    (Lipej & Dulčić, 2010). However, the species is rarely
served during a SCUBA dive in the Mediterranean. The                                                     sighted in the Adriatic Sea and biological information is
shallowest record of the species was also reported during                                                quite scarce (Dulčić & Pallaoro, 2006). The first record in
diving in a subtidal tunnel (14 m deep) in Azores where                                                  the Adriatic Sea was observed on 16-17 September 2004,
it was regularly observed as “resident species”, exhibit-                                                a specimen of 181.2 mm total length, 7 nautical miles from
ing nocturnal feeding habits (Micael et al., 2006). Marine                                               the coast (off Molunat Bay, southern Adriatic) at approxi-
caves often provide refuge for deep-sea species and thus                                                 mately 70 m depth (Dulčić & Pallaoro, 2006).
have been characterized as “bathyal islands” within the
littoral zone (Harmelin & Vacelet, 1997).

    The present finding of Scorpaenodes arenai in the

476	 Medit. Mar. Sci., 16/2, 2015, 472-488
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