Polychaetes (Annelida) of Cyprus (Eastern Mediterranean Sea): An Updated and Annotated Checklist including New Distribution Records

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Polychaetes (Annelida) of Cyprus (Eastern Mediterranean Sea): An Updated and Annotated Checklist including New Distribution Records

Maria Rousou, Joachim Langeneck, Chara Apserou, Christos Arvanitidis, Stephanos Charalambous, Kyproula Chrysanthou, George Constantinides, Panagiotis D. Dimitriou, Sergio Carlos Garc?a G?mez, Soteria Irene Hadjieftychiou, Nikolaos Katsiaras, Periklis Kleitou, Demetris Kletou, Frithjof C. K?pper, Paraskevi Louizidou, Roberto Martins, Manos L. Moraitis, Nafsika Papageorgiou, Magdalene Papatheodoulou, Antonis Petrou, Dimitris Xevgenos, Lavrentios Vasiliades, Eleni Voultsiadou, Chariton Charles Chintiroglou, and Alberto Castelli.

The diversity and distribution of polychaetes in the coastal area and the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus is presented based on both the literature records and new data acquired in a wide range of environmental monitoring programmes and research projects. A total of 585 polychaete species belonging to 49 families were reported in Cyprus waters; among them, 205 species (34%) were recorded based on the literature only, 149 (26%) were new records based on our own data, and a total of 231 spp. (40%) were recorded from both the literature and new data. A total of 51 polychaete species were identified as non indigenous; among them, 32 were confirmed as alien species, 4 were considered cryptogenic, and 15 were considered questionable as there were doubts about their identity. The Indo-Pacific Schistomeringos loveni was reported for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea, while four species already reported in the literature, namely, Bispira melanostigma, Fimbriosthenelais longipinnis Leonnates aylaoberi, and Rhodopsis pusilla, were added to the list of nonindigenous polychaetes in the Mediterranean Sea. The current work highlights the importance of implementing environmental monitoring programmes and carrying out research surveys targeting benthic macrofauna assemblages.

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