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Red Sea Fishes Recently Found in the Mediterranean

Adam Ben-Tuvia
Copeia
Vol. 1966, No. 2 (Jun. 21, 1966), pp. 254-275
DOI: 10.2307/1441133
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1441133
Page Count: 22
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Red Sea Fishes Recently Found in the Mediterranean
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Abstract

At least 24 species of fishes have passed from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea since the Suez Canal was opened in 1869. Records of another 26 species collected in the Mediterranean and alleged to be of Red Sea origin are shown to be based on misidentification or probable errors in determining the source of material. There are no reliable records of Mediterranean species penetrating into the Red Sea. Nearly all of the 24 species are confined to shallow coastal waters and have migrated mostly northward along the Asiatic coast. One is known from the Mediterranean coast of Egypt only, nine are not recorded farther north than Israel, 13 are known as far as the Anatolian coast of Turkey, and seven have reached the Aegean Sea. The extremes in westward migration so far recorded are Parexocoetus mento from the Gulf of Sidra and Leiognathus klunzingeri from the neighborhood of Lampedusa. Several Red Sea species were observed in the Mediterranean for the first time within the last 10 years. The decrease in salinity of the Bitter Lakes, which are part of the Suez Canal, may have facilitated recent immigration. While Red Sea species constitute only 9% of the fish fauna of the Mediterranean coast of Israel, their ecological importance is fairly great since 18 species are among the more common in this area, and nine are commercially exploited.

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