Scientia Marina, Vol 83, No 3 (2019)

Checklist with first records for the Echinoderms of northern Tunisia (central Mediterranean Sea)


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.04899.19A

Hayfa Chammem
University of Tunis El Manar, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis - University of Murcia, Faculty of Biology, Tunisia
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6814-5834

Jamila Ben Souissi
University of Tunis El Manar, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis - University of Carthage, National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia (INAT), Tunisia
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1761-4204

Angel Pérez-Ruzafa
University of Murcia, Faculty of Biology, Spain
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4769-8912

Abstract


Tunisia occupies a strategic biogeographic position in the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Sicily is considered a biogeographical boundary that separates the eastern and western basins. Despite the importance of marine biodiversity in Tunisia, the few studies of Echinodermata fauna in this region data from long ago. In order to update and produce a validated checklist of the echinoderms that occur in northern Tunisia, a study of this phylum was carried out between 2012 and 2016. Forty-five species were inventoried and distributed into the five living Echinodermata classes (Crinoidea, Asteroidea, Ophiuroidea, Echinoidea and Holothuroidea). New occurrences of four species from Tunisian marine waters [Asterina pancerii (Gasco, 1876), Luidia atlantidea (Madsen, 1950), Ophiactis virens (Sars, 1859) and Leptopentacta tergestina (Sars, 1857)], are cited and discussed here for the first time.

Keywords


echinoderms; new occurrences; biodiversity; Tunisia; Mediterranean Sea

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