The lesser amberjack Seriola fasciata (Perciformes: Carangidae) in the Mediterranean: a recent colonist?
From 1994 to 2002, 80 lesser amberjacks, Seriola fasciata (Bloch, 1793), were caught in Sicilian waters. Their identification was confirmed by morphometric and meristic features measured on some preserved specimens. Juvenile specimens were observed under fish aggregating devices (FADs) located in Sardinia and Sicily during surveys carried out between 2001 and 2002. This species was previously recorded in the Mediterranean Sea as rare and considered a new Atlantic immigrant but the frequent catches and the continuous observations under FADs lead us to suppose that it is not as sporadic as the literature reports. The analysis of 14 stomach contents suggests S. fasciata to be an active predator of fish and crustaceans. The high frequency of records over the years, the large range of sizes recorded and the wide Mediterranean distribution of S. fasciata, suggests the establishment of a stable population in Sicilian seas as well as in the western Mediterranean. S. fasciata is here recorded for the first time in Sardinian waters.