Occurrence of the Alien Species Aspidosiphon (Aspidosiphon) elegans (Sipuncula) on the Levantine and Aegean Coasts of Turkey


Abstract: A total of 37 specimens of Aspidosiphon (Aspidosiphon) elegans were collected at 5 stations located along the Levantine coast of Turkey and at 1 station located near Foça (Aegean Sea). This species inhabited calcareous rocks, the mussel Branchidontes pharaonis, and the alga Corallina mediterranea between 0 and 3 m depths. The population density of this species in the area was found to be 25 ind. M^{-2}. As Aspidosiphon (A.) elegans is a bio-eroder species, its high population density may cause serious damage to coralligenous habitats. This study gives more data regarding the morphological, biological, and ecological features of the species in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Keywords: Sipuncula, Aspidosiphon (Aspidosiphon) elegans, alien species, Lessepsian, Aegean Sea, Levantine Sea, eastern Mediterranean

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