Genetic, morphometric and meristic analyses of first Acanthurus monroviae specimens recorded in Maltese waters (Central Mediterranean)
This paper documents the occurrence and analyses of Acanthurus monroviae in Maltese waters. A first specimen was collected from the Maltese waters on the 28th September 2013 and a second specimen was caught on the 13th October 2015. This species is non-indigenous in the Mediterranean as it is native to the eastern tropical Atlantic. Apart from undertaking identification through meristic and morphometric measurements of the specimens, genetic analyses of 2880 bp from mtDNA genes were carried out to confirm the species identity. The Monrovia Surgeonfish alien presence was first reported from visual and morphometric analyses in the Mediterranean off the Spanish coast in 1981, with subsequent records in the eastern Levant basin, the coast of Algeria, off the Tunisian coast, in Hellenic waters and an unconfirmed visual record from the Maltese waters. The latter is confirmed through these detailed analyses of the specimens collected.