Multiple lionfish (Pterois spp.) new occurrences along the Brazilian coast confirm the invasion pathway into the Southwestern Atlantic

Osmar J. Luiz, Wagner C.R. dos Santos, Alexandre P. Marceniuk, Luiz A. Rocha, Sergio R. Floeter, Clara E. Buck, Alex G.C.M. de Klautau, Carlos E.L. Ferreira

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The invasion of the northwestern Atlantic by the Indo-Pacific lionfish has developed extraordinarily fast. 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. Until now, just a single sighting had been reported in the South Atlantic and it was questionable whether lionfish would invade this region like it has in the northwestern Atlantic. Here we report four new records of lionfish for the Brazilian coast, in the southwestern Atlantic. Two individuals were captured in mesophotic reefs underneath the Amazon river plume, one in an oceanic archipelago distant 350 km from Brazil’s tropical continental coast, and the fourth in the subtropical coast. The records in the Amazon and in the oceanic regions support previous inferences of lionfish invasion routes into the south Atlantic. The subtropical record, despite being considered too far away for a single larval dispersal event from the Caribbean, is recurrent and could be a result of aquarium releases.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBiological Invasions
    Early online date3 Jun 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2021

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