CIESM Atlas of Exotic Molluscs in the Mediterranean



List of excluded species
(last update: December 2003)


Clelandella infucata (Gould, 1861)
A single shell reported by Di Natale (1982), from Sicily; possibly a misidentification of the native C. miliaris (Brocchi, 1814).

Gibbula cineraria (Linné, 1758)
The Mediterranean record is based on specimens collected in an experimental shellfish culture at Mistra Bay, Malta, (Schembri, 1979). The species is also native in the western Alboran Sea.

Umbonium vestiarium (Link, 1807)
Based on two shells collected at Marsa el Brega, near Benghazi, Libya, in 1969 (see Spada, 1970) ; never found again.

Littorina littorea (Linné, 1758)
A species of the temperate North Atlantic, commonly found associated with oysters, reported by Di Natale (1982) in the lagoon of Faro, Sicily, and by Barsotti and Campani (1982) near Livorno, northern Tyrrhenian Sea. The species did not become established, and the population near Livorno was extinct by 1988 (Johannesson, 1988). Repeated punctual introductions are likely because this is a commercial species, imported to Mediterranean countries from Ireland or other western European production areas.

Littorina obtusata (Linné, 1758)
It is cited by Sabelli et al., 1990, without definite locality data, but can be excluded on the same grounds. The statement by Parenzan (1970) that it has been found in Corsica and Sardinia is no substantiated by any material and should be disregarded.

Littorina saxatilis Olivi, 1792
Very old Mediterranean record (Olivi, 1792), its main range is in the North Atlantic. Genetic investigations could not determine whether it is a relict from a former cold climatic spell or has been introduced from the Atlantic (Jansson, 1985; Reid, 1996).

Bittium proteum (Jousseaume, 1930)
The whole case for holding this species in Mediterranean lists (Sabelli et al., 1990) is based on a single specimen from Bardawil area figured by Barash and Danin (1977, 1992: both as Dahlakia cf. leilae ). Dahlakia leilae Biggs, 1971, in turn, was described from the Dahlak archipelago, Red Sea, together with three other species which Houbrick (1978b) considers synonymous with C. proteum Jousseaume, 1930, and which do not seem conspecific with the Mediterranean shell. Thus, there is currently no evidence for the occurrence of this species in the Mediterranean.

Cerithium caeruleum Sowerby G.B., 1855
The Mediterranean citation is based on a series of juveniles collected in Haifa Bay and identified by J. Houbrick (Van Aartsen, Barash and Carrozza (1989); the occurrence is not mentioned by Barash and Danin (1992) not by Houbrick (1992) in his revision of Cerithium; but the species exists in the Red Sea entrance of the Suez Canal (Tillier and Bavay, 1905). The Mediterranean specimen illustrated by Giannuzzi-Savelli et al., (1997, fig. 63) is Clypeomorus, although the Red Sea specimen on their fig. 62 is really this species.

Cerithium echinatum Lamarck, 1822
Indo-Pacific species which occurs in the Red Sea. The record by Barash and Danin (1986) was based on a juvenile specimen (1.5 mm) collected by diving at a depth 1-2 m near Dor by S. Arkin in September 1980 and the species was never sighted again. This record seems unreliable, given that the same collector presented several more specimens of North American origin as supposedly Mediterranean (Mienis, 2000e).

Cerithium erythraeoense Lamarck, 1822
A shell of this spectacular and unmistakable Indo-Pacific species was reported from Atlit by Haas (1937). A second shell, collected in Haifa Bay by M. Tom in 1965, was reported by Mienis (2001d). In the Indo-Pacific, C. nodulosum is found in shallow sandy depressions protected by reefs (Houbrick, 1992), and would not remain undetected, if it had really settled in the Mediterranean. The populations from the Red Sea and southern Arabia are considered a different subspecies or species, distinct from C. nodulosum Bruguière, 1789 which lives in the Indian Ocean and throughout the tropical Western Pacific.

Potamides conicus (Blainville, 1826) = Pirenella conica
Excluded from the Atlas because it is a native Mediterranean species with a fossil record (see Plaziat, 1989). Lozouet (1986) pointed out Potamides as the correct generic name.

Scaliola elata Issel, 1869
Mienis (pers. comm.) disputed the identification of the shell Scaliola elata by Barash and Danin, 1977a. If correct, the first record would be from Barash and Bogi, 1987.

Callostracum gracile (Maltzan, 1883)
A West African species; Mediterranean citation based on a specimen reported from Haifa by Mienis (1981b); spurious.

Mesalia opalina (Adams and Reeve, 1850)
A West African species, cited in the Mediterranean by Garavelli and Melone (1967) - misidentified as M. brevialis Lamarck, 1822, but the figure represents M. opalina - probably based on shells discarded from fishing boats operating in West Africa. Later Parenzan (1970) reported this citation (as M. brevialis) with some reservations, but stated that the native species in the western Alboran Sea is M. opalina (whereas it is actually M. brevialis).

Rissoina chesneli (Michaud, 1832) and Rissoina decussata (Montagu, 1803)
Two Caribbean species for which there are 19th century records (Jeffreys, 1856; Locard, 1886), obviously from ballast, but still included tentatively by Nordsieck (1972b) and Giannuzzi-Savelli et al. (1997). The specimen figured by the latter authors as R. decussata is R. spirata.

Natica marochiensis Gmelin, 1791
The misnomer of this species has induced the persistent idea that it should occur in Morocco, but this is not verified. It is an amphiatlantic species, living on tidal flats in tropical West Africa and in the Caribbean, and absent from the Atlantic coast of Morocco despite an old record from Mogador (now Essaouira) by Lowe (1860). The specimens figured in Giannuzzi-Savelli et al. (1997) are really Natica marochiensis but we find it highly unlikely that they could originate from Ceuta, where the fauna is familiar to us. Mienis (2000b) correctly points out that N. marochiensis resembles N. gualteriana and that records from the Eastern Mediterranean should be checked for the latter species.

Polynices lacteus (Guilding, 1834)
A tropical Atlantic species, reported from Tunisia by Parenzan (1970). From the drawing, it is not clear whether it is really this species or a white shell of a native species, e.g. Euspira macilenta (Philippi, 1836).

Cypraea pantherina Solander in Lighfoot, 1786
Reported by Parenzan (1970: 147) from Lampedusa, already expressing some doubts about the significance of the record.

Erronea caurica Linné, 1758
Reported in Rhodes by Barash and Danin [1988]1989. Based on several old records, many "from fishermen"; see discussion in Barletta, 1974.

Monetaria moneta Linné, 1758 and Monetaria annulus Linné, 1758
There are many old Mediterranean records (Requien, 1848; Locard, 1886) obviously based on transported shells. These species may well be the molluscan shells most often carried around, as currency or ornament. The species are still mentioned by Barash and Danin (1992).

Staphylaea nucleus Linné, 1758
A single worn shell was reported from Palmahim, Israel (Singer, 1993 as Cypraea nucleus); this record was already treated as doubtful in the original publication.

Strombus lentiginosus Linné, 1758
A single Mediterranean record by Aharoni (1934), with no follow-up.

Bursa marginata (Gmelin, 1791)
A West African species, commonly occurring as far North as the Canary Islands but not in the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, it is listed as Mediterranean by Sabelli et al. (1990) and shells alleged to come from northern Morocco (e.g. as in Giannuzzi-Savelli et al., 1997) are regularly presented by shell dealers. We had the occasion to study large scale dredgings (for refilling beaches) on the appropriate kind of bottoms for many years on the coast of Málaga, and did not detect this species.

Aspella anceps (Lamarck, 1822)
An old record, first by Monterosato (1880) as new species: Epidromus gladiolus. This is possibly a native species, but it cannot be distinguished from Indo-Pacific representatives (Houart and Vokes, 1995).

Rapana rapiformis (von Born, 1778)
The Mediterranean citation is based on a juvenile (24 mm) shell obtained "from fishermen" at a water depth of 18-20m in 1976, off Bardawill, Egypt (Barash and Danin, 1977a). In the Indo-Pacific, this species is found in reef environments, a requirement which makes its settlement in the Mediterranean problematic. The specimen was illustrated by Barash and Danin and cannot be confused with the temperate Western Pacific species Rapana venosa, which is introduced in other parts of the Mediterranean.

Coralliobia madreporarum (Sowerby, 1832)
Reported from southern Italy as Quoyula madreporarum (Sowerby, 1832) (Di Natale, 1978b), but these occurrences are questioned in a discussion by Oliverio (1989), with whom we agree.

Latirus polygonus (Gmelin, 1791)
Based on a single record from Tel Barukh, Israel, collected in 1958 by A. Barash (Mienis, 2000f). There was no follow-up, and this large Indo-Pacific species is unlikely to have escaped further detection if present in the Mediterranean.

Mazatlania cosentini (Philippi, 1836)
This species was originally described as Terebra cosentini by Philippi (1836) from material supposedly collected in Sicily and Naples, possibly transported there with ballast. This was maintained in Mediterranean textbooks (e.g. Parenzan, 1970; d'Angelo and Gargiullo, 1978) and Terebra cosentini became the utmost holding of a Mediterranean shell collection with specimens of alleged Mediterranean origin offered by unscrupulous shell dealers for astronomical prices. Bouchet and Gofas (1983) have shown this to be a common Carribbean species living in the surf zone.

Vasum turbinellus (Linné, 1758)
The only Mediterranean record is one shell reported from Bardawil, Egypt, collected by Steinitz in 1956 (Mienis, 1973). The occurrence of this reef species, already rare in the northern Indian Ocean and in the Red Sea, is unlikely and has not been substantiated in nearly half a century.

Strigatella virgata (Reeve, 1844)
The single shell reported by Parenzan (1970) from Brindisi, Italy, is likely to be accidentally transported. The drawing (pl. 40, fig. 771) appears to represent the Indo-Pacific species, rather than the superficially similar Canadian and Moroccan species Vexillum zebrinum (d'Orbigny, 1839).

Vexillum depexum (Deshayes in Laborde, 1834)
A shell of this species was collected in 1984 at Bat Yam, Israel (Mienis, 1985e). This is already a rare species in its original range, restricted to the Red Sea and neighbouring parts of the Indian Ocean; the related Vexillum microzonias (Lamarck, 1811) has a very broad distribution in the remainder of the Indo-Pacific.

Cybium rubiginosum (Swainson, 1822)
A single record in Sardinia by Giuseppetti et al. (1991), obviously due to accidental transport. The current valid name of this northwest African species is Cymbium cucumis Röding, 1798.

Lophiotoma indica Röding, 1798
Occurrence in the Mediterranean based on a single record by Steuer (1939), with no follow-up. Possibly a misidentification of the native Fusiturris similis.

Pusionella nifat (Bruguière, 1789)
Based on record from Algiers already given as dubious by Weinkauff (1862), then tentatively maintained in Nordsieck's (1968) textbook.

Conus arenatus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
An Indo-Pacific species, not reported from the Suez Canal. Occurrence in the Mediterranean based on a single record by Haas (1937), with no follow-up.


Cylichna cf. mongii (Audouin, 1826)
The taxon reported under this name, from Cyprus by Cecalupo and Quadri (1996), may be an undescribed Mediterranean species. According to Van Aartsen (pers. comm.) this species is also known from the Island of Djerba, Tunisia, and Akkum, Turkey, and without doubt lives in the Mediterranean.

Aglaja taila Marcus and Marcus, 1966
It was described originally from the Gulf of Guinea, and later recorded by Sordi (1976) and Fasulo et al. (1982) on the Italian coasts of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ortea and Moro (1998) considered it as a junior synonym of Aglaja tricolorata Renier, 1807 (species known from the Western Mediterranean), and they recorded it also from the Canary Islands.

Melanochlamys seurati (Vayssière, 1926)
Bogi and Galil (1999) recorded this species from Israel (as Melanochlamys cfr. seurati) as a Lessepsian immigrant, but it is a poorly known Mediterranean species, originally described from the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia. According to Gosliner (1980a), this species could be a synonym of Melanochlamys maderense (Watson, 1897), described from Madeira and also known from the Canary Islands (Ortea and Moro, 1998).

Atys blainvilliana (Recluz, 1843)
Recorded by Barash and Danin (1992), this species was originally described from France and is probably a synonym of Atys jeffreysi (Weinkauff, 1866), whose type locality is La Spezia (Italy). It is therefore a Mediterranean species.

Aplysia juliana Quoy and Gaimard, 1832
A circumtropical species also recorded from the Canary Islands. Some specimens of Aplysia depilans Gmelin, 1791 from Morocco and the Mediterranean Sea were cited under the name Aplysia juliana due the close similarity of both species in external morphology (Martínez, 1995).

Notarchus indicus Schweiger, 1820
The taxonomic status of Notarchus punctatus Philippi, 1836 and N. indicus is confuse and must be clarified. Meanwhile, the identification of one specimens as N. indicus on the Mediterranean coast of Israel (Eales, 1970 and Barash and Danin, 1971b, 1973, 1992) is highly doubtful and may be attributed to Notarchus punctatus (an Atlantic and Mediterranean species).

Dolabrifera holboelli Bergh, 1872
The type locality of this taxon is Greenland (Bergh, 1872), where the occurrence of a species of this group is highly unlikely. The original description may be based on mislabelled material. Cited for the Mediterranean by Cattaneo and Barletta (1984), this can be traced to a mention in Pruvot-Fol (1954), under the heading for D. holboelli, that "the genus" has been found at Marseilles, France.

Petalifera gravieri (Vayssière, 1906)
This species is considered a synonym of Petalifera petalifera (Rang, 1828), a cosmopolitan species whose type locality is Nice, France (Martínez, 1996).

Berthellina citrina (Rüppell and Leuckart, 1830)
The Mediterranean records under this name (Eales, 1970; Thompson, 1976 ; Barash and Danin, 1977a; Cattaneo-Vietti, 1986) correspond to a distinct West African and Mediterranean native species, B. edwardsi Vayssière, 1896. Berthelina engeli Gardiner, 1936, with a British type locality and later cited in the Mediterranean (Pruvot-Fol, 1954; Haefelfinger, 1960; Schmekel, 1968; Campani and Terreni, 1987) may be a synonym (L. Cervera, pers. comm.).

Sclerodoris cf. tuberculata Eliot, 1904
The species recorded in the Gulf of Taranto by Perrone (1985a, b) under this name, with some doubts, is probably an undescribed Mediterranean species.

Chromodoris clenchi (Russell, 1935)
The Mediterranean record of Chromodoris clenchi (a Caribbean species) corresponds to Chromodoris britoi Ortea and Perez, 1983 (a West African and Mediterranean species).


Anadara notabilis (Röding, 1798)
This species was reported from Mediterranean Morocco by Parenzan (1974). Judging from the figure, this may be based on a misidentification of the native Anadara corbuloides (Monterosato, 1878). This citation was already dropped by the Mediterranean checklist of Sabelli et al. (1990).

Hochstetteria munieri Bernard, 1879
This representative of a genus otherwise exclusively found in the southern hemisphere was described from Agde, French Mediterranean, in the 19th century. It was never found again and is probably based on a mislabelled specimen, but was still maintained in the Mediterranean checklist by Sabelli et al. (1990).

Arctinula groenlandica (Sowerby, 1842)
An Arctic Atlantic species. The specimen reported from the Bay of Taranto and figured by Parenzan (1974: 91, as Palliolum groenlandicum) is a valve of the native Similipecten similis (Laskey, 1811).

Placopecten magellanicus (Gmelin, 1791)
A North American (despite the misnomer) species, commercially fished on the east coast of the United States. The record from Mazzara del Vallo, Sicily by Giacobbe (1973) remains unexplained, and Parenzan (1974) stated (without details) further catches in southern Italy. There has not been any further notice of this occurrence which seems therefore accidental.

Spondylus limbatus Sowerby, 1847
In the Mediterranean the only record is from Haifa, Israel (Lamprell, 1998). However, according to the same author, it was a misidentification. Sowerby gave the wrong locality data for S. limbatus and subsequent studies by K. Lamprell have shown it to be a prior name for the American S. calcifer (Lamprell, pers. comm.).

Spondylus spectrum Reeve, 1856
Based on a single record by Aharoni (1934), no follow-up.

Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin, 1791)
This American species has been occasionally imported to the Mediterranean countries, but it was never able to form consistent populations. Monterosato (1915) stated that it was sold on the market at Palermo. The records from Turkey by Çevik et al. (2001) may be based on C. gigas.

Galeomma polita Deshayes, 1855
The citation of this name in Mediterranean lists is based on the assumption by Nordsieck (1969) that it is a senior synonym (erroneously dated "1830") of Galeomma compressa Philippi, 1844, a Plio-Pleistocene fossil from northern Italy and Sicily.

Linga aurantia Deshayes, 1832
A Western Atlantic species, the record in Barash and Danin (1992), based on beached valves, does not reliably indicate an introduction.

Laevicardiumm flavum (Linné, 1758)
The Red Sea species is currently named Vasticardium luteomarginatum marerubrum Voskuil and Onverwagt, 1991. However the alleged Mediterranean specimen has turned out to be Trachycardium egmontianum, a Western Atlantic species. The records from Israel are rejected as being based on wrongly labelled samples (Mienis, 2001c).

Parvicardium hauniense (Høpner-Petersen and Russell, 1971)
This Baltic species was cited in Languedoc by Wolowicz (1992), but this is possibly a misidentification of the native P. exiguum (Gmelin, 1791).

Hippopus hippopus (Linné, 1758)
Occurrence in the Mediterranean is based on a single record by Haas (1937), with no follow-up, but repeated in checklists. Taviani (1994) discussed the impossibility for Tridacnidae to live in the Mediterranean.

Mactrinula tryphera Melvill, 1899
A relatively rare, offshore species with restricted geographic distribution in the Arabian Peninsula, Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea. The citation (Mienis, 2000g) refers to an odd record from Shiqmona, based on a single right valve in the National Mollusca Collection of the Tel Aviv University. Considering its geographic distribution and rarity, this species does not qualify as an exotic.

Saxidomus purpuratus (Sowerby, 1852)
An odd record of an edible species of Pacific origin. It is based on an old collection from Bardawil, ca. 1956, which is attributed to the accidental finding of left-overs of meals thrown by ocean-going vessels (Mienis, 1999e).

Petricola hemprichii Issel, 1869
Reported from Port Said, Egypt (Tillier and Bavay, 1905); present in the Suez Canal (Tillier and Bavay, 1905 and Hoensellaar and Dekker, 1998). Olivier (1992), based on the sculptural characteristics, agrees with Tomlin (1927) and gives it as a separate species stating that Smith (1891) regarded the Red Sea species as identical to the Mediterranean Petricola lithophaga.

Teredo navalis Linné, 1758
Reported as introduced in North European waters in the 17th century and reported in Venice shortly later (Olivi, 1792). Actually a cryptogenic species likely to have been extensively transported worldwide at the time of wooden ships.

Penicillus vaginiferus (Lamarck, 1818)
This species is in Mediterranean lists because of its inclusion in Nordsieck's (1969) book as Brechites (Warnea) vaginiferus (Lamarck, 1818). The grounds for this inclusion are not clear; Nordsieck refers to an illustration of "Brechites annulatus (Deshayes)" which should be correctly Brechites annulosus (Deshayes in Gray, 1858). The true Brechites vaginiferus is an Indo-Pacific species, also present in the Red Sea (Oliver, 1992); the name Brechites attrahens (Lightfoot, 1786) has priority.

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