speculations on F. enigmaticus origin

Helmut Zibrowius hzibrowi at com.univ-mrs.fr
Mon Feb 16 12:45:26 EST 1998

>The last known hypothesis on the origin of enigmaticus is: Zibrowius, H.,
>1992.- Ongoing modification of the Mediterranean marine fauna and flora
>by the establishment of exotic species. Mesogee 51: 83-107.

Referring to H.A. ten Hove's above message Geoff Read
(Mon, 16 Feb 1998 14:09:33 +1100) asked:
>Might we be told more? Not a widely available journal unfortunately.

Here the extract concerning polychaetes in that alien species compilation:

       Polychaeta (general information)

          Based on literature that unfortunately comprised some
       particularly unreliable older publications, Por (1978) listed 9
       species of polychaetes (including one species of Serpulidae) as
       high-probability, and 14 species (including one species of
       Serpulidae) as low-probability lessepsian migrants, and 20 species
       (including two species of Serpulidae) as antilessepsian migrants.
       A partial correction and updating was provided by Zibrowius
       (1983b); in particular, it was stated that considerably more
       serpulid species of Indo-Pacific origin had settled on the
       Levantine coasts. Por (1989, 1990) was able to refer to new data
       obtained by Ben-Eliahu (1989, 1991b) on Nereidae (6 species) and
       Serpulidae (see below), whereas data for other polychaete families
       remain problematical.

       Polychaeta Serpulidae and Spirorbidae

          The serpulids of Red Sea/Indo-Pacific origin presently known
       from the coasts of Israel and Lebanon are: Hydroides cf.
       brachyacantha Rioja, 1941; H. novaepommeraniae Augener, 1925 [= H.
       grubei Pillai, 1965]; H. heterocera (Grube, 1868); H. homocera
       Pixell, 1913; H. minax (Grube, 1878); H. operculata (Treadwell,
       1929); Pomatoleios kraussii (Baird, 1865); Spirobranchus
       tetraceros (Schmarda, 1861) (see Laubier, 1966; Zibrowius and
       Bitar, 1981; Ben-Eliahu, 1988, 1989, 1991a; Ben-Eliahu and Hove,
       1990, 1992). In addition to active dispersal by planktonic larvae,
       passive dispersal as ship fouling may have contributed to their
       present range. In fact, most of these species, together with
       Hydroides albiceps (Grube, 1870), and H. steinitzi Ben-Eliahu,
       1972 (both of Red Sea/Indo-Pacific origin), have also been found
       among the fouling sampled at Toulon harbour from a ship arriving
       from the Indian Ocean via the Suez canal (Zibrowius, 1979). As for
       Pomatoleios kraussii, it is wide-spread in the Indo-Pacific (from
       Japan to South Africa) and also occurs in the Gulf of Guinea. This
       disjunct distribution may well be due to early dispersal by
       navigation (Zibrowius, 1983b).

          Comprising world-wide > 80 species and particularly specious in
       tropical seas, the genus Hydroides is predominant not only among
       lessepsian migrants, but also includes the three earliest alien
       serpulids in the Mediterranean (Zibrowius, 1971, 1973, 1978,
       1983b; Zibrowius and Thorp, 1990). Hydroides dianthus (Verrill,
       1873), H. dirampha Moerch, 1863, and H. elegans Haswell, 1883, have
       been collected together at Naples from harbour fouling as early as
       1888, H. elegans being quantitatively dominant (an association
       currently observed in present harbour fouling throughout the
       Mediterranean). But two species can be traced back to an even
       earlier date: H. dianthus at Izmir (year of publication 1865) and
       at Trieste (year of collecting 1874); H. dirampha at Naples (year
       of publication 1870). All three species are now widely distributed
       in the Mediterranean in harbours and coastal lagoons. The
       distribution is disjunct, leaving out "natural" habitats of full
       marine salinity, except in areas immediately adjacent to harbours.
       Within this pattern, H. dirampha appears to be absent from the
       northernmost parts of the Mediterranean and to be more frequent in
       the south; its origin could be the tropical American Atlantic. H.
       elegans (frequently confused with the autochthonous northeastern
       Atlantic and Mediterranean H. norvegica Gunnerus, 1768) also
       appears to be of tropical/subtropical origin, but its native area
       is even less evident; being first described from Australia does
       not prove an Australian origin. H. dianthus appears native of the
       Atlantic coast of North America where it occurs in a variety of
       "natural" habitats. Possibly the arrival with ship fouling of the
       three Hydroides species in the Mediterranean considerably
       antedates their first records. Considerable fouling nuisances by
       H. elegans have been described by Parenzan (1965) and Paoletti and
       Sebastio (1973).

          Ficopomatus enigmaticus (Fauvel, 1923) probably was brought to
       Europe with ship fouling during the first world war. Dense
       brackish water populations were first noticed at London harbour
       and in a canal of northern France (Zibrowius and Thorp, 1990). A
       few years after its description F. enigmaticus invaded suitable
       biota in the Mediterranean where it is now wide-spread in coastal
       lagoons and estuaries. Its apparition in San Francisco Bay at the
       close of the first world war, as evidenced by local newspaper
       accounts (Carlton, 1975), was about contemporary with its
       apparition in Europe. Fauvel's hypothesis of an Indian/Indonesian
       origin, can be ruled out: other species of Ficopomatus, but not F.
       enigmaticus, exist in that area (Hove and Weerdenburg, 1978). The
       origin from a subtropical to temperate area, eventually southern
       Australia, appears more likely (Zibrowius, 1978, 1983b).

         The Spirorbidae Spirorbis marioni Caullery and Mesnil, 1897, and
       Pileolaria berkeleyana (Rioja, 1942) have originally been
       described from the eastern Pacific (Panama and Mexico). In 1979
       both species were discovered on stones in a harbour at Marseille
       where they did not exist some years before. Investigations of
       harbours and adjacent areas motivated by this discovery and
       conducted for several years showed that the two alien species
       were differently distributed in the Mediterranean (Zibrowius and
       Bianchi, 1981; Zibrowius, 1983a, 1983b). P. berkeleyana was found
       limited to harbours in the Marseille area sensu lato (from the
       Gulf of Fos in the west to Les Lecques in the east) whereas S.
       marioni was already wide-spread, from Morocco through Spain and
       France to Italy (southern limit of explorations at Monte
       Argentario promontory), including Elba, Corsica and Sardinia. Both
       species frequently occur in dense populations. It was also found
       that S. marioni and P. berkeleyana had been present in the
       Marseille area, and S. marioni at Genova, as early as 1977. Both
       spirorbids are able to spread from harbour to harbour by ship
       navigation since many of the investigated harbours shelter mainly
       small sailing and motor boats that do not travel far. S. marioni
       appears to have better spreading abilities, but the previously
       studied coasts should be checked again in order to see whether P.
       berkeleyana has extended its area.

          In 1987 S. marioni has also been found in Izmir Bay and
       elsewhere on the Turkish coast of the Aegean Sea, always in
       harbour areas (Knight-Jones et al., 1991). It would be of interest
       to extend these investigations in view of alien spirorbids to
       other parts of the Mediterranean.

  (Centre d'Oceanologie de Marseille)
  Station Marine d'Endoume
  Rue Batterie des Lions
  13007 Marseille / France
  E-MAIL:  hzibrowi at com.univ-mrs.fr
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