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Fig. 6: The specimen of Lagocephalus lagocephalus caught         already observed for the Central Mediterranean between
near Kornati archipelago (on 16 June 2015).                      2007 and 2012 along the Calabrian coast (Nicolaidou et
                                                                 al., 2012). Zava et al. (2005) mention that the number of
                                                                 oceanic puffer specimens has been increasing since 1999
                                                                 for Sicilian waters (western Ionian Sea). New additional
                                                                 records in the Adriatic could also be related to the effect of
                                                                 BiOS (Civitarese et al., 2010) and oceanographical chang-
                                                                 es in the Adriatic Sea (Dulčić et al., 2004).

                                                                     There is no doubt that fish biodiversity in the Adriatic
                                                                 Sea is changing but to what extent non-indigenous spe-
                                                                 cies will affect its ecological balance remains to be seen
                                                                 and continuous monitoring is essential.

                                                                 2. Alien species

    Two new additional records of oceanic puffer were            2.1. Occurrence of Antithamnionella elegans (Ceramiales,
found near Kornati archipelago (6 nautical miles to the              Rhodophyta) on the Mediterranean shore of Israel
south, around 43o47’N, 15o20’E, on 16 June 2015) and
near the island of Rab (around 44o46’N, 14o46’E, on 17           By R. Hoffman
June 2015). This record near the island of Rab represents
the northernmost record of this species in the Adriatic Sea.         During an annual algal survey conducted in 2014,
                                                                 the filamentous red seaweed Antithamnionella elegans
    The first specimen from Kornati archipelago (Total           (Berthold) J.H. Price & D.M. John was found for the
length TL=50 cm, Weight W= 2120 g) (Fig. 6) was cap-             first time in the Levant Mediterranean Sea of Israel. This
tured from a depth of ca 1-3 m with a hand-line, while the       alien species, which probably originated from the Indo-
second (TL=48 cm, W=2000 g) (Fig. 7) from a depth of             Pacific Ocean, is distributed all along the shoreline from
80 m with a trawl net. The specimens were stored in the          Ashkelon (31.6808oN, 34.5539oE) in southern Israel to
Ichthyological collection of the Institute of Oceanography       Rosh HaNikra (33.0867oN, 35.1055oE) in the north. All
and Fisheries in Split (catalogue number LagIOR 297).            specimens collected were found growing as epiphytes,
                                                                 exclusively attached on the thalli of the red calcified sea-
    These findings are interesting primarily because they        weed Ellisolandia elongata (J.Ellis & Solander) K.R.
were recorded over 11 years after the first finding of the       Hind & G.W. Saunders, collected from the lower inter-
species in the Adriatic Sea. Several questions could arise       tidal and shallow subtidal zone.
based on the new additional records of the oceanic puffer
in the Adriatic Sea. Has this species established a popula-          Specimens collected were filamentous, uncorticated,
tion in the Adriatic Sea or is it a seasonal visitor (three re-  prostrate, up to 6 mm long, irregularly ramified and pro-
cords for the Adriatic Sea were during summer)? Although         ducing upright axes which grow to a height of up to ~1.5
there is no evidence of a permanent population in the            mm; axial cells of the prostrate axes measuring 90-120 x
study area, the captures described here might be an indi-        26-40 µm; those of the erect axes 40-100 x 15-21 µm; erect
cation of a northernmost expansion of the distribution of
the oceanic puffer in the Adriatic Sea in recent years. This
species has probably extended its distribution from popu-
lations in the Ionian Sea. Such expanding behaviour was

Fig. 7: The specimen of Lagocephalus lagocephalus caught         Fig. 8: Antithamnionella elegans: General view of branch and
near island Rab – northernmost record in the Adriatic Sea (on    whorl-branchlets in whorls of three. Note that each gland cell
17 June 2015).                                                   (GS) lays laterally on a single cell (scale bar = 100µm).

Medit. Mar. Sci., 16/2, 2015, 472-488	                           477
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