Pelagia benovici sp. nov. (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa): A new jellyfish in the Mediterranean Sea

Zootaxa (Impact Factor: 0.91). 05/2014; 3794(3):455-468. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3794.3.7


A bloom of an unknown semaestome jellyfish species was recorded in the North Adriatic Sea from
September 2013 to early 2014. Morphological analysis of several specimens showed distinct
differences from other known semaestome species in the Mediterranean Sea and unquestionably
identified them as belonging to a new pelagiid species within genus Pelagia. The new species, is
morphologically distinct from P. noctiluca, currently the only recognized valid species in the genus,
and from other doubtful Pelagia species recorded from other areas of the world. Molecular analyses
of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and nuclear 28S ribosomal DNA genes
corroborate its specific distinction from P. noctiluca and other pelagiid taxa, supporting the
monophyly of Pelagiidae. Thus, we describe Pelagia benovici sp. nov. Piraino, Aglieri, Scorrano &

    • "Therefore a record of a species new to science or to the sea in a well-studied taxon is sometimes considered as evidence of introduction, even if its native range is unknown nor its pathway identified (e.g. Marivagia stellata Galil & Gershwin, 2010; Pelagia benovici Piraino, Aglieri, Scorrano & Boero, 2014; Galil et al., 2010; Piraino et al., 2014). However, according to Chapman and Carlton (1991) the species needs to be tested against several attributes that may provide cumulative probability of the introduced status. "
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    ABSTRACT: Analyses of marine alien species based on national/regional datasets are of paramount importance for the success of regulation on the prevention and management of invasive alien species. Yet in the extant data systems the criteria for the inclusion of records are seldom explicit, and frequently inconsistent in their definitions, spatial and temporal frames and comprehensiveness. Agreed-upon uniform guiding principles, based on solid and transparent scientific criteria, are therefore required in order to provide policy makers with validated and comparable data. Following a meta-analysis on the records of marine alien species in the Mediterranean Sea, we recommend a judicious approach to compiling the data. Here, three categories of uncertainty were identified: species' taxonomic identification, species' actual occurrence in the area, and its status as an alien. In proposing guiding principles to standardize such datasets, we aim to encourage discourse on logical, standardized and transparent criteria to substantiate records of alien species.
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    • "EU Unknown Vessels U Piraino et al. (2014) Current status and trends of biological invasions in the… "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper provides an updated account of the occurrence and abundance of non-indigenous species (NIS) in an area of high risk of introduction: the Lagoon of Venice (Italy). This site is a known hotspot of NIS introductions within the Mediterranean Sea, hosting all the most important vectors of introduction of marine NIS—shipping, recreational boating, shellfish culture and live seafood trade. The recent literature demonstrates that the number of NIS in Venice is continuously changing, because new species are being introduced or identified, and new evidence shows either an exotic origin of species previously believed to be native, or a native origin of formerly believed “aliens”, or demonstrates the cryptogenic nature of others. The number of NIS introduced in the Venetian lagoon currently totals 71, out of which 55 are established. This number exceeds those displayed by some nations like Finland, Portugal or Libya. Macroalgae are the taxonomic group with the highest number of introduced species (41 % of NIS): the most likely vector for their introduction is shellfish culture. The source region of NIS introduced to Venice is mainly represented by other Mediterranean or European sites (76 %). The Lagoon of Venice represents a sink but also a source of NIS in the Mediterranean Sea, as it is the site of first record of several NIS, which have since further spread elsewhere.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Biological Invasions
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    • "Molecular methods can play an important role in several fields of aquatic bioinvasions, including identification of non-indigenous species and their origins, historical reconstruction of invasive routes and the underlying pathways, estimation of genetic connectivity among populations, as well as detection of overall changes in the residential native community induced by new invaders (e.g. Darling and Blum 2007; Darling and Mahon 2011; Estoup and Guillemaud 2010; Geller et al. 2010; Ghabooli et al. 2013; Hänfling 2007; Miura 2007; Muirhead et al. 2008; Piraino et al. 2014 "
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    ABSTRACT: The rapid expansion of multicellular native and alien species outbreaks in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems (bioinvasions) may produce significant impacts on bacterial community dynamics and nutrient pathways with major ecological implications. In aquatic ecosystems, bioinvasions may cause adverse effects on the water quality resulting from changes in biological, chemical and physical properties linked to significant transformations of the microbial taxonomic and functional diversity. Here we used an effective and highly sensitive experimental strategy, bypassing the efficiency bottleneck of the traditional bacterial isolation and culturing method, to identify changes of the planktonic microbial community inhabiting a marine coastal lagoon (Varano, Adriatic Sea) under the influence of an outbreak-forming alien jellyfish species. Water samples were collected from two areas that differed in their level of confinement inside in the lagoon and jellyfish densities (W, up to 12.4 medusae m-3; E, up to 0.03 medusae m-3) to conduct a snapshot microbiome analysis by a metagenomic approach. After extraction of the genetic material in the environmental water samples, we deep-sequenced metagenomic amplicons of the V5- V6 region of the 16S rRNA bacterial gene by an Illumina MiSeq platform. Experiments were carried out in triplicates, so six libraries of dual indexed amplicons of 420 bp were successfully sequenced on the MiSeq platform using a 2x250 bp paired-end sequencing strategy. Approximately 7.5 million paired-end reads (i.e. 15 million total reads) were generated, with an average of 2.5 million reads (1.25 M pairs) per sample replicate. The sequence data, analyzed through a novel bioinformatics pipeline (BioMaS), showed that the structure of the resident bacterial community was significantly affected by the occurrence of jellyfish outbreaks. Clear qualitative and quantitative differences were found between the western and eastern areas (characterized by many or few jellyfish), with 84 families, 153 genera and 324 species in the W samples, and 104 families, 199 genera and 331 species in the E samples. Significant differences between the two sampling areas were particularly detected in the occurrence of 16 families, 22 genera and 61 species of microbial taxa. This is the first time that a NGS platform has been used to screen the impact of jellyfish bioinvasions on the aquatic microbiome, providing a preliminary assessment of jellyfish-driven changes of the functional and structural microbial biodiversity.
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