Carterina labinea sp. nov. – A new alien foraminifer from the Southeastern Mediterranean shelf

  • publication
  • 01-08-2022

Simona Avnaim-Katav, Maria Holzmann, Jan Pawlowski. European Journal of Protistology, vol.85:

The foraminiferal order Carterinida is characterized by agglutinated tests consisting of calcareous spicules. Four species have so far been described from the tropical Pacific and the Caribbean Sea. We report here the first occurrence of Carterina from the Southeastern Levantine Shelf of the Mediterranean Sea. Based on molecular and morphological results, we describe Carterina labinea sp. nov., which is characterized by a trochospiral test with a conical, tapered spiral side and a concave umbilical side. The test is composed of elongate fusiform calcareous spicules. Tests have a mean diameter of 720 μm, which is twice the vertical height, and spicules vary in length and width from 112/15 μm to 73/14 μm. Our results show that the genus Carterina extends its distribution beyond tropical Seas and might be more widely distributed than previously thought. Moreover, the appearance of the new species in the study area suggests it is a new colonizer as continuous biomonitoring studies in the area show that it is absent in sediment samples taken before 2020. Our results highlight the importance of ongoing monitoring programs in high-risk basins such as the Levantine to gain more information about the biodiversity changes and improve environmental conservation of Eastern Mediterranean littoral areas progressively colonized by tropical species.

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