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Identification of a non-native Cynoscion species (Perciformes: Sciaenidae) from the Gulf of Cádiz (southwestern Spain) and data on its current status
Rafael Bañón, Alberto Arias, Diego Arana, Jose A. Cuesta

Cynoscion is a genus of fish in the family Sciaenidae from the Atlantic and Pacific American coasts that is important in recreational and commercial fisheries. Morphological analysis identifies a species inhabiting the Gulf of Cádiz (southern Spain) as the weakfish, Cynoscion regalis, a native of the northwest Atlantic. This finding is also confirmed by molecular identification using 16S and Cox1genes. Based on the examination of a previous manuscript, the assignation of this species to the spotted seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus, is considered a misidentification. C. regalis has been reported in the area since 2011 and is now considered an established species that is distributed along the Guadalquivir River estuary and is a target of local artisanal fisheries. The pathway of introduction is unknown, but possible mechanisms are considered, of which ballast water seems to be the most plausible. A revision of non-native sciaenids also found in European waters is carried out. The ecological impact of weakfish on the local fish community is still unknown and should be object of future studies.

Keywords: biological invasion; marine introduction; weakfish; Cynoscion regalis; Guadalquivir estuary; taxonomy
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 81(1) : 19-26 Back PDF
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