First record of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) for the Brazilian coast

Carlos E.L. Ferreira, Osmar J. Luiz, Sergio R. Floeter, Marcos B. Lucena, Moysés C. Barbosa, Claudia R. Rocha, Luiz A. Rocha

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The invasion of the northwestern Atlantic by the Indo-Pacific lionfish has developed extraordinarily fast, and is expected to cause one of the most negative ecological impacts among all marine invasions. In less than 30 years, lionfish have dramatically expanded their distribution range to an area encompassing the eastern coast of the USA, Bermuda, the entire Caribbean region and the Gulf of Mexico. The rapidity of the lionfish spread has raised concerns in other parts of the Atlantic that may be under the reach of the invasion. Despite the anticipation that lionfish would eventually extend their range throughout most of the eastern coast of South America, it had not been recorded in Brazil until now. Here we report the first lionfish appearance for the Brazilian coast and show that the individual collected by us is genetically linked to the invasive Caribbean population. Since small-range endemics are found in several locations in Brazil and are among the species that are most vulnerable to extinction, we recommend urgent control, management and education measures aimed at minimizing the effects of this impending invasion.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0123002
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


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