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ETRUMEUS GOLANII (ACTINOPTERYGII: CLUPEIFORMES: DUSSUMIERIIDAE)
A NEW LESSEPSIAN MIGRANT RECORDED IN MOROCCO, ALBORAN SEA
Mohamed Naoufal TAMSOURI1*, Said BENCHOUCHA1, Mohamed IDHALLA2,
and Fatima EL AAMRI3
1 Laboratory of Fisheries, National Institute of Fisheries Research (INRH), Tanger, Morocco
2 Department of Aquaculture, National Institute of Fisheries Research (INRH), Casablanca, Morocco
3 Shellsh Aquaculture Technology Research Center, National Institute of Fisheries Research (INRH), M’diq, Morocco
Tamsouri M. N., Benchoucha S., Idhalla M., El Aamri F. 2019. Etrumeus golanii (Actinopterygii:
Clupeiformes: Dussumieriidae) a new Lessepsian migrant recorded in Morocco, Alboran Sea (south-
west Mediterranean). Acta Ichthyol. Piscat. 49 (1): 43–47
Abstract. The occurrence of a Lessepsian migrant, the Golani round herring, Etrumeus golanii DiBattista,
Randall et Bowen, 2012, is reported here for the ﬁrst time from the Alboran Sea (south-west Mediterranean). On
May 2018, twenty individuals were caught by a commercial purse-seiner off Fnideq (Morocco), but ﬁve females
and two males, were kept by the ﬁsherman for further analyses. This new ﬁnding conﬁrms the expansion of this
Lessepsian migrant throughout the Mediterranean Sea.
Keywords: round herring, Etrumeus golanii, new record, morphometry, Alboran Sea, Morocco
ACTA ICHTHYOLOGICA ET PISCATORIA (2019) 49 (1): 43–47 DOI: 10.3750/AIEP/02495
* Correspondence: Dr Mohamed Naoufal Tamsouri, Institut National de Recherche Halieutique (INRH), Tanger, Morocco, phone: +212539946586. e-mail: (MNT)
email@example.com, (SB) firstname.lastname@example.org, (MI) email@example.com, (FE) firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 connected the
Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and allowed a large
number of tropical/subtropical marine species to enter
the Mediterranean basin. This migration phenomenon
has been called Lessepsian migration (DiBattista et al.
2012, Galil et al. 2015). To date, many Lessepsian species
have established thriving populations along the eastern
Mediterranean coastlines (Galil et al. 2017).
According to a recent study by Zenetos et al. (2017),
a total of 821 alien species have been reported in the
Mediterranean Sea with the Lessepsian ﬁshes accounting
for approximately 100 (Giovos et al. 2018), including
the Golani round herring, Etrumeus golanii DiBattista,
Randall et Bowen, 2012.
Etrumeus golanii is an inshore pelagic ﬁsh originally
known from the northern region of the Red Sea and now
expanding towards the Mediterranean. It is established
in the Mediterranean Sea, especially in its eastern part
and was widely reported in the literature as “Etrumeus
teres”. Those erroneously labelled ﬁndings later turned
out to be a species that is new to science (Zenetos et
al. 2017). The above-mentioned misidentiﬁcation was
exposed by DiBattista et al. (2012).
Etrumeus golanii is not restricted to the eastern
Mediterranean Sea but it is also present in its central (Italy,
Libya and Tunisia) and western (Algeria) parts (Falautano
et al. 2006, Boussellaa et al. 2016, Shakman et al. 2017,
Stamouli et al. 2017).
This paper reports the ﬁrst occurrence of Etrumeus
golanii for Morocco and the Alboran Sea and the second
record of this ﬁsh from the western Mediterranean Sea.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Several specimens of the Golani round herring, Etrumeus
golanii, were caught off Fnideq, Morocco (35°50.366′
N, 005°16.578′W–35°49.998′N, 005°16.388′W) (Fig. 1)
from depths ranging from 67 to 80 m, at nights of 7 and
8 May 2018, by a commercial purse-seiner. The catch
included also other small pelagic ﬁshes such as Trachurus
mediterraneus (Steindachner, 1868), Scomber colias
Gmelin, 1789, and Sardina pilchardus (Walbaum, 1792).
Seven specimens of the round herring were provided by
the ﬁsherman for our study.
All specimens were measured, weighed, and
photographed. Morphometric and meristic measurements
are presented in Table 1. The specimens were preserved in
ethanol and deposited at the Laboratory of Fisheries of the
National Institute of Fisheries Research (INRH), Tanger,
Morocco, with voucher number LP-18/01.
Tamsouri et al.
et al. 2016) (Table 1), we have identiﬁed our specimens as
Etrumeus golanii. All studied specimens were adults with
a total length (TL) varying from 252 to 283 mm and net
weight varying from 148.66 to 217.39 g (Fig. 2). These
specimens were dissected and sexed. Thus, ﬁve were
identiﬁed as females with gonad weighing from 2.57 to
4.48 g and two were males with gonad weight from 1.86
to 6.57 g.
To date, there is no evidence of any negative impact
of Etrumeus golanii on local ﬁsheries resources.
On the contrary, the presence of E. golani received
positive comments (Stamouli et al. 2017). In the eastern
Mediterranean Sea, an important population of the
Golani round herring is already established (Corsini et al.
2005, Akyol and Ulaş 2016) and represents an important
commercial resource (DiBattista et al. 2012). The currently
known distribution of the species in the Mediterranean is
shown in Fig. 3 and listed in Table 2. With this ﬁnding,
the number of Lessepsian species present in Morocco
increases to two (see below).
In general, there has been a limited number of
studies on non-indigenous species, conducted along the
Mediterranean coasts of Morocco (Bazairi et al. 2016,
Selfati et al. 2017, El Aamri et al. 2018) and Lessepsian
species, in particular. Selfati et al. (2017) reported the
Fig. 1. The capture site of Etrumeus golanii specimens
(star); off Fnideq, Morocco (Alboran Sea)
Morphometric measurements and counts of Etrumeus golanii, captured from Findeq Bay, Morocco (Alboran Sea)
compared with other published records
Cyprus 2000 Italy 2006 Turkey 2016 Tunisia 2016 Morocco 2018
n2 1 1 7 7
Total length — 231 180 225–265 252–283
Fork length —211 159 200–243 228–260
Standard length 138–213 202 153 165–225 215–243
Body depth 20.6–42.4 35.6 28 34.5–41.3 43–50
Predorsal ﬁn length — 88 66 87–102 92–107
Prepectoral ﬁn length — — 38 — 46.5–56
Preanal ﬁn length — — 127 — 175–203
Head length 31–53.5 45 34 39.2–49.3 45–52
Eye diameter 9.3–18.6 12.44 11 10.2–12.5 13–15
Preorbitary length — — 12 — 13–16
Dorsal ﬁn base length — 26.6 — 24.2–26.1 31–35
Anal ﬁn base length — 9.4 — 9–9.5 9–12
Pelvic ﬁn length — 14.3 — 14–22 14–16
Dorsal ﬁn rays 17–20 18 17 18 18
Pectoral ﬁn rays 15–17 15 16 16 15–16
Pelvic ﬁn rays 8–10 8 8 8 8
Anal ﬁn rays 9–10 12 9 9 9–10
n = number of specimens examined, Cyprus 2000 = Golani 2000, Italy 2006 = Falautano et al. 2006, Turkey 2016 = Akyol and Ulaş 2016,
Tunisia 2016 = Boussellaa et al. 2016, Morocco 2018 = presently reported study.
According to the description given by DiBattista et al.
(2012) and comparison of the morphometric and metric
characters of Etrumeus golanii from other areas of the
central and eastern Mediterranean Sea (Golani 2000,
Falautano et al. 2006, Akyol and Ulaş 2016, Boussellaa
First record of Etrumeus golanii from Morocco 45
Fig. 2. Etrumeus golanii captured off Fnideq Bay, Morocco; scale bar: 20 mm
10° E 30° E
Fig. 3. Published records of Etrumeus golanii in the Mediterranean Sea (black dots: as listed in Table 2) and the new
record, determined in this study (star)
Records of Etrumeus golanii in the Mediterranean Sea
Record date Location Reference
1961 Haifa Bay, Israel Whitehead 1963
1994 Egypt El Sayed 1994
1996 Iskenderun, Turkey Başusta et al. 1997
1997 Antalya Gulf, Turkey Yılmaz and Hoşsucu 2003
1999 Limassol, Cyprus Golani 2000
2003 Rhodes, Greece Corsini et al. 2005
2004 Cyclades, Greece Kallianiotis and Lekkas 2005
2005 Hydra Island, Greece Zenetos et al. 2008
2004–2005 Crete, Greece Kasapidis et al. 2007
2005 Lampedusa, Italy Falautano et al. 2006
2009 Dikili Coast, Turkey Yarmaz et al. 2010
2015 Gulf of Izmir, Turkey Akyol and Ulaş 2016
2014 Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia Boussellaa et al. 2016
2017 Misrata, Libya Shakman et al. 2017
2017 Cherchell, Algeria Stamouli et al. 2017
2018 Fnideq Bay, Morocco Presently reported study
Tamsouri et al.
ﬁrst presumed Lessepsian species namely, the gastropod
Bursatella leachii from Mar-Chica (Nador).
In conclusion, the recent occurrence of the Golani
round herring, Etrumeus golanii, in Tunisian, Algerian,
and Moroccan waters, may be linked to the altering
environmental conditions which are gradually becoming
more favourable for those ﬁsh. In this case, it could be
assumed that the establishment of a sustainable population
in near future could be expected. Furthermore, the
presently reported record conﬁrms, also, the occurrence
of this ﬁsh species in the Alboran Sea and its expansion
throughout the Mediterranean Sea.
We gratefully acknowledge the help of Dr Manuel
Antonio E. Malaquias in proofreading the text.
We would like to thank, also, Mr Abdelghani
EL HAMDI, captain of the commercial purse-seiner
Hilal 3 from M’diq port, for providing us specimens and
information on the E. golanii ﬁshing localities and Khalil
TAMSOURI for making the illustrations.
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Received: 5 June 2018
Accepted: 24 August 2018
Published electronically: 15 March 2019