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The biodiversity of the marine Heterobranchia fauna along the central-eastern coast of Sicily, Ionian Sea

Andrea Lombardo, Giuliana Marletta
2020 Biodiversity Journal  
The first updated list of the marine Heterobranchia for the central-eastern coast of Sicily (Italy) is here reported. This study was carried out, through a total of 271 scuba dives, from 2017 to the beginning of 2020 in four sites located along the Ionian coasts of Sicily: Catania, Aci Trezza, Santa Maria La Scala and Santa Tecla. Through a photographic data collection, 95 taxa, representing 17.27% of all Mediterranean marine Heterobranchia, were reported. The order with the highest number of
more » ... highest number of found species was that of Nudibranchia. Among the study areas, Catania, Santa Maria La Scala and Santa Tecla had not a remarkable difference in the number of species, while Aci Trezza had the lowest number of species. Moreover, among the 95 taxa, four species considered rare and six non-indigenous species have been recorded. Since the presence of a high diversity of sea slugs in a relatively small area, the central-eastern coast of Sicily could be considered a zone of high biodiversity for the marine Heterobranchia fauna.
doi:10.31396/biodiv.jour.2020.11.4.861.870 fatcat:xl5lbuc7abaehjvq2ku7rt5cki