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Lionfishes Pterois miles and Pterois volitans in the North-eastern Mediterranean Sea: Distribution, Habitation, Predation and Predators

Cemal Turan*, Necdet Uygur, Mahmut İğde

Abstract

The lionfish Pterois miles was first recorded in the Iskenderun Bay on 2014 in Turkish Marine waters, and then its distribution was extended to Mersin and Antalya Bays in 2014 in the Mediterranean part of Turkey. The first observation of P. miles in the Aegean Sea was from Fethiye region in July 2015. The extension of P. miles in Turkish marine waters seems to be fast even though it’s slow moving feature. Second species of the lionfish, red lionfish Pterois volitans, was also recorded from Turkish Marine waters on May 2016 by a commercial purse seine at 30 m depth at İskenderun Bay and underwater observation was also recorded on October 2016 at Antakya Bay. Therefore, the number of Pterois species in the Mediterranean Sea has reached to two, P. miles and P. volitans. Based on underwater observations, P. miles and P. volitans are usually observed in rocky and cave habitats and prefer 10-40 meters for feeding that may cause the reduction of populations of vanikoro sweeper (Pemperis spp.), cardinal fish (Apagon spp.) and red coat (Holocentrus rubrum) species. P. miles and P. volitans also show cohabitation and gathering usually with 2-5 individuals. Grouper species such as dusky gruper Ephinephelus marginatus and goldblotch grouper Ephinephelus costae are the main predators of the lionfishes.

Keywords

Lionfishes, Pterois miles, Pterois volitans, distribution, habitation, predation

 

Volume 2, No 1, 35-43, 2017

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