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Invasive

Subtropicals

Others

The species we are looking for are not limited to the examples provided here. These are some examples of species with greater interest at the moment, and different ones may appear.

 

That is exactly the aim of NEMA, to be a platform for detecting new species on the Algarve coast.

For some of these species there are only past records, or others on which there have been reports of sightings, but still to be confirmed.

 

Invasive species are defined as those that establish themselves in places outside their native range where they evolved, and that cause negative effects on native species . A non-native species only becomes classified as invasive, when it is proven that it causes negative effects in the area where it was introduced, which may be environmental or economic impacts. The existence of studies that prove these impacts in other invaded areas, may be sufficient for a species to be classified as invasive in a new location.

Species: Callinectes sapidus (blue crab)

Description: native to the Western Atlantic coasts, it was first detected in the Algarve in 2016 in Ria Formosa. Its a crab of the Portunidae family that can reach close to 30 cm (carapace width) and weigh 900 grams. Easily identifiable by the blue color in the claws and paws. Mature females have a red color at the tips of the claws.

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Guadiana, September 2019. Photo: João Encarnação

Guadiana, June 2016. Photos: Pedro Morais

Species: Cynoscion regalis (weakfish; American meagre)

Description: originating from the East coast of the USA, it was first detected in the Algarve in 2016 in the Guadiana estuary. Fish of the family Sciaenidae that can reach close to 1 m in length and 9 kg in weight. Easily distinguishable by its pigmentation on the dorsal area and yellowish color on some fins. Hardly mistaken with the native meagre (Argyrosomus regius). However, it can be confused with the spotted seabass (Dicentrarchus punctatus).

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Species: Blackfordia virginica (Black Sea jellyfish; blackfordia)

Description: native to the Black Sea, it was first detected in the Algarve in 2008 in the Guadiana estuary. Jellyfish from the family Blackfordiidae, due to their small dimensions, usually with a maximum diameter of 1 cm, may not be easily detected without the proper sampling equipment. Densities in the order of 100 000 ind/m3 have already been recorded in the Guadiana.

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Guadiana, July 2008. Photo: Pedro Range

Guadiana, October 2020. Photo: João Encarnação

Species: Palaemon macrodactylus

Description : originating in Asia (Japan, Korea, China), it was first detected in the Algarve in 2008 in the Guadiana estuary. Shrimp of the Palaemonidae family that reaches a maximum of 7 cm, with high osmoregulation capacity, managing to occupy areas with salinity between 1 and 36 PSU.

Easily confused with other native species, such as Palaemon longirostris or Palaemon elegans . This distinction between species is only possible by observing the number of spines in the rostrum and the number of rows of branches in the ventral area of ​​the rostum, which can only be done correctly with the aid of a magnifying glass.

They usually display a lighter longitudinal line.

Records in the Algarve: see here.

 

In the context of NEMA, and the south coast of mainland Portugal, subtropical species are those that are traditionally more common in tropical and subtropical areas, south of the Algarve. Because the Algarve is in a border area between the temperate climate and the subtropical area, it already has some species more characteristic of these waters. With the increase in the average temperatures of the oceans, these species tend to expand their distribution to the North, accompanying this increase in temperatures, reason why they tend to be more frequent in the Portuguese continental coast.

By definition, this type of species should not be called invasive, unless clear negative impacts on fauna or economy are documented.

Species: Hermodice carunculata (fire worm)

Description: common in the islands of Macaronesia, the first confirmed record in the Algarve dates from 2015. Invertebrate with red to greenish color, belonging to the family Amphinomidae and can reach 35 cm in length.

⚠️ It has white bristles along the sides of the body that causes a strong irritation and burning sensation to touch, hence its common name. Contact with the skin should be avoided.

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Portimão, September 2018. Photo: João Encarnação

Portimão, October 2017. Photos: João Encarnação

Species: Thalassoma pavo (ornate wrasse)

 

Description: common in the islands of Macaronesia, the first confirmed record in the Algarve dates from 2011. Fish of the Labridae family of small dimensions (maximum 25 cm), easily identifiable by the green/orange color. They have a high sexual dimorphism, with females having vertical blue stripes, the male being more uniform, keeping only a blue band close to the head. It can be confused with the species Coris julis, quite common on our coast, although the colorations are different.

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Species similar to Thalassoma pavo. Photos: João Encarnação

Species: Scorpaena maderensis (Madeira scorpion fish)

Description: common in the Macaronesian islands, the first confirmed record in the Algarve dates from 2016. Fish of the Scorpaenidae family that can reach 18 cm in length. Easily confused with other local species such as Scorpaena notata or Scorpaena porcus. However, the white flaps on the lower jaw are the best distinguishing feature.

⚠️ Like other Scorpaenids, some of its spines contain poison so contact should be avoided.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Portimão, October 2016. Photo: João Encarnação

Species similar to Scorpaena maderensis. Photos: João Encarnação

Portimão, April 2017. Photo: João Encarnação

Species : Serranus atricauda (roller grouper)

Description: species already present in the Algarve for several years, showing an increase in abundance. Species more characteristic of the Macaronesian islands.

Fish of the Serranidae family that can reach 45 cm in length. Easily confused with other local species, especially the Serranus cabrilla. The existence of two wider bands on the sides is the best diagnostic feature.

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Species similar to Serranus atricauda. Photos: João Encarnação

Spain, October 2018. Photo: João Encarnação

Species: Serranus scriba (painted comber)

Description: species present in the Algarve for some years, but more characteristic of southern Spain and the Mediterranean. Fish of the Serranidae family that can reach 35 cm in length.

The existence of a bluish area in the belly is the best diagnostic feature.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Species similar to Serranus scriba. Photos: João Encarnação

Madeira, June 2011. Photo: João Encarnação

Species: Sparisoma cretense (parrotfish)

Description: species characteristic of the Macaronesian islands, Mediterranean and West African coast.

Fish of the Scaridae family that can reach 50 cm in length. High sexual dimorphism, with females displaying bright colours, while males have colours between grey and greenish.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Spain, October 2018. Photo: João Encarnação

Species: Pomadasys incisus (bastard grunt)

Description: species present in the Algarve for some years, but more characteristic of the islands of Macaronesia (except the Azores) and the Mediterranean. Fish of the Haemulidae family that can reach 25 cm in length.

It can be confused with some sparids existing in the Algarve, but this species of grunt has all fins in shades of yellow.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Portimão, June 2014. Photo: João Encarnação

Species: Parapristipoma octolineatum (African striped grunt)

Description: species present in the Algarve for some years, but more characteristic of some of the Macaronesian islands, the Mediterranean and West African coast. Fish of the Haemulidae family that can reach 50 cm in length.

As an adult, horizontal stripes are no longer so evident.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Angola, Lagos, Lagoa. Photos: João Encarnação

Species: Plectorhinchus mediterraneus (rubberlip grunt)

Description: species already present in the Algarve for several years, characteristic of the West African coast and the Mediterranean.

Fish of the Haemulidae family that can reach 60 cm in length. As an adult, the horizontal stripes are no longer visible.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Species: Umbrina canariensis (Canary drum)

Description: species present in the Algarve for some years, having increased in abundance. Species more characteristic of the Spanish coasts (including the Canary islands), the Mediterranean and the African coast until Angola. Fish of the family Sciaenidae that can reach 80 cm in length.

It may be confused with some sparids existing in the Algarve, but this species of drum has brownish dorsal and caudal fins .

 

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Portimão, August 2019. Photo: João Encarnação

Azores, July 2011. Photo: João Encarnação

Species: Sphoeroides marmoratus (Guineann puffer)

Description: common in Macaronédia islands and West African coast. Fish of the family Tetraodontidae that can reach 20 cm in length.

There are some reports of sightings in the Algarve.

⚠️ Like other members of the Tetraodontidae family, it has toxins in its skin and muscle, so its consumption is highly discouraged.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here (no observations).

Angola, September 2019. Photo: João Encarnação

Species: Canthigaster capistrata (Macaronesian sharpnose-puffer)

Description: endemic to the islands of the Macaronesia, occurs down to the coast of Angola. Fish of the family Tetraodontidae that can reach 10 cm in length.

To date, there are no records in the Algarve.

⚠️ Like other members of the Tetraodontidae family, it has toxins in your skin and muscle, so its consumption is highly discouraged.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here (no observations).

Portimão, September 2019. Photo: João Encarnação

Species: Chromis chromis (Mediterranean damselfish)

Description: species already present in the Algarve for several years, having increased in abundance. Species characteristic of some islands of Macaronesia, the Mediterranean and West African coast.

Fish of the Pomacentridae family that can reach 20 cm in length.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here.

Species similar to Chromis chromis. Photos: João Encarnação

Portimão, September 2019. Photo: João Encarnação

Species: Chromis limbata (Atlantic damselfish)

Description: species characteristic of the islands of Macaronesia and West African coast.

Fish of the Pomacentridae family that can reach 15 cm in length.

To date, there are no records of the Algarve.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here (no observations).

Species similar to Chromis limbata. Photos: João Encarnação

Portimão, September 2019. Photo: João Encarnação

Species: Abudefduf luridus (Canary damselfish)

Description: species characteristic of the Macaronesian islands.

Fish of the Pomacentridae family that can reach 15 cm in length.

Although already registered in the Gorringe Bank, there are, to date, no records on the Algarve coast.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here (no observations).

Species similar to Abudefduf luridus. Photos: João Encarnação

Cape Verde, September 2008. Photo: João Encarnação

Species: Abudefduf saxatilis (Sergeant-major)

Description: very cosmopolitan species. In the Atlantic it is more characteristic of the West coast, but also occurring in the Cape Verde area. Fish of the Pomacentridae family that can reach 23 cm in length.

It was recently identified in Madeira (2006) and the Mediterranean (2012). To date, there are no records on the Algarve coast.

 

Records in the Algarve: see here (no observations).

...... more species coming soon ......