Martinez' endemic

Helmut Zibrowius hzibrowi at com.univ-mrs.fr
Thu Dec 7 11:10:25 EST 1995


On Tue, 5 Dec 1995 10:59:03 +0000, Dani Martinez wrote:

>I had the opportunity to describe a
>new capitellid genus from a brackish, shallow-water, enclosed Bay of the
>Ebro's Delta in the Iberian peninsula which I named "Pseudomastus
>deltaicus". It was very abundant there (about 2000 individuals per square
>meter).

REPLY: new species continue to be currently described from the 
Mediterranean. Take the example of the 12th brachiopod species - thus even 
in a group that generally catches attention and that is not speciose in the 
Mediterranean:
  Logan A., Zibrowius H., 1994. A new genus and species of rhynchonellid   
  (Brachiopoda, Recent) from submarine caves in the Mediterranean Sea.  
  Marine ecology [P.S.Z.N.I], 15 (1): 77-88.

Or take the case of a new benthic ctenophore (also a group less speciose 
than Polychaeta):
  Carre C., Carre D., 1993. Ctenella aurantia, genre et espece nouveaux 
  de ctenophore tentacul‚ (Ctenellidae fam. nov.) mediterraneen, sans  
  colloblastes et avec ventouses labiales. Can. J. Zool. 71 (9): 1804-1810.

>As Mediterranean waters have been (and are being) largely explored,
>I thought the species was endemic.

REPLY: That's a rather naive view. For some groups the Mediterranean 
may indeed be better explored than other areas, but that does not garantee
that any new species therein is an endemic. See the above cited cases: the 
authors were cautious enough to not appoint those species endemics.
Given Martinez' strong believe that (nearly) everything is well known in 
the Mediterranean, it would even be more logical to see in each newly 
discovered form a recent immigrant from elsewhere...
There are indeed many aliens of various origins successful in the 
Mediterranean. See the following compilation:
  Zibrowius H., 1992. Ongoing modification of the Mediterranean fauna and 
  flora by the establishment of exotic species. Mesogee [Bulletin du Museum 
  d'histoire naturelle de Marseille], 51, 1991: 83-107.   

>do not know whether this could be a case of recent migration,
>previous misleading identifications, hazard of looking now at the right
>zones, or whatever.

REPLY: Recent migration is another explanation often proposed without 
detailed arguments. But the personal hazard of looking at special biota 
and areas and the ability of being interested in some type of organism may 
generally be a more likely explanation of the discovery.   

>The main point is that the name of the species, directly linked to the type
>locality, may induce to erroneous identifications if people do not expect
>to find a "deltaic" species out of a delta.
REPLY: No, that's really NOT the main point. A name once given with 
reference to the first collecting site can evidently not cover all 
situations to be discovered lateron. All somewhat experienced taxonomists, 
biogeographers, etc. should be aware of that. Nevertheless, names 
totally incorrect with reference to the origin should preferably have been 
avoided: such as Posidonia oceanica (that seagrass appears to be a true 
endemic of the Mediterranean - never duely reported from the - Atlantic - 
Ocean).

  ----------------------------------- 
  Helmut ZIBROWIUS
  (Centre d'Oceanologie de Marseille)
  Station Marine d'Endoume
  Rue Batterie des Lions
  13007 Marseille / France
  TEL: (intern. - 33) 9 1 0 4 1 6 2 4
  FAX: (intern. - 33) 9 1 0 4 1 6 3 5
  E-MAIL: <hzibrowi at com.univ-mrs.fr>
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