First record of the invasive coral Oculina patagonica de Angelis, 1908 (Cnidaria, Scleractinia) in the Gulf of Mexico

Norberto A. Colín García, Jorge E. Campos, José L. Tello Musi, Horacio Perez-España, Xavier Chiappa Carrara
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Colonies of coral with morphology similar to that of Oculina patagonica de Angelis, 1908 were found in the National Park Veracruz Reef System (NPVRS) along the coast of Veracruz, Mexico in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The identity of these colonies as O. patagonica was confirmed by morphological and molecular analyses. Here, we document the first records of O. patagonica in the Gulf of Mexico. This species is native to the Mediterranean Sea, and could have been accidentally introduced to the
more » ... ntroduced to the Gulf of Mexico through ballast water from ships. In the NPVRS, poor environmental conditions such as polluted waters with high sedimentation, and the capability of O. patagonica to adapt could have facilitated the establishment of this species in the Gulf.
doi:10.15560/14.4.611 fatcat:ewiguowjebfizopeghekn4hltm