Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica. Volume 7 (2009) Pages: 72-77

New records of Parasquilla ferussaci (Roux, 1830) (Crustacea, Stomatopoda) from the Eastern Atlantic and Western Mediterranean

Colmenero, A. I., García Raso, J. E., Abelló, P.



Parasquilla ferussaci, Stomatopoda, Western Mediterranean, Gulf of Cadiz


Colmenero, A. I., García Raso, J. E., Abelló, P., 2009. New records of Parasquilla ferussaci (Roux, 1830) (Crustacea, Stomatopoda) from the Eastern Atlantic and Western Mediterranean. Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 7: 72-77, DOI:



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New records of Parasquilla ferussaci (Roux, 1830) (Crustacea, Stomatopoda) from the Eastern Atlantic and Western Mediterranean
We report the occurrence of the little known stomatopod Parasquilla ferussaci on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of the Iberian peninsula. Documentation is based on three specimens captured off Isla Cristina (Huelva) in the Gulf of Cadiz, off Fuengirola (Málaga) in the Alboran Sea and off Gavà (Barcelona) in the North-Western Mediterranean. These reports fill the distribution gap between Eastern Central Atlantic reports and previous Mediterranean reports east of the Balearic Islands.

Key words: Parasquilla ferussaci, Stomatopoda, Western Mediterranean, Gulf of Cadiz


Nuevas citas de Parasquilla ferussaci (Roux, 1830) (Crustacea, Stomatopoda) en el Atlántico oriental y Mediterráneo occidental
En esta nota se informa sobre la presencia del estomatópodo Parasquilla ferussaci en las costas de la península ibérica. La documentación está basada en tres especímenes capturados, respectivamente, en Isla Cristina (Huelva) en el Golfo de Cádiz, Fuengirola (Málaga) en el Mar de Alborán y en Gavà (Barcelona) en el Mediterráneo noroccidental. Se amplia la distribución conocida de la especie completando así el vacío existente hasta el momento entre las citas atlánticas y las del Mediterráneo central.

Palabras clave: Parasquilla ferussaci, Estomatópodo, Mediterráneo occidental, Golfo de Cádiz


Noves cites de Parasquilla ferussaci (Roux, 1830) (Crustacea, Stomatopoda) a l’Atlàntic oriental i el Mediterrani occidental
En aquesta nota s’informa sobre la presència de l’estomatòpode Parasquilla ferussaci a les costes de la península Ibèrica. La documentació està basada en tres espècimens capturats, respectivament, a Isla Cristina (Huelva), golf de Cadis; Fuengirola (Màlaga), mar d’Alborán, i Gavà (Baix Llobregat), Mediterrani nord-occidental. La distribució coneguda de l’espècie s’amplia i així es completa el buit existent fins ara entre les cites atlàntiques i les del Mediterrani central.

Paraules clau: Parasquilla ferussaci, Estomatòpode, Mediterrani occidental, Golf de Cadis

New records

Parasquilla ferussaci (Roux, 1830) is one of the two species of the stomatopod family Parasquillidae (Manning, 1995; Ahyong, 1997) occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. The known distribution of this species comprises the Eastern Central Atlantic from the Northern shores of the Gulf of Guinea to the Gulf of Cadiz (Monod, 1951Pérès, 1964Manning, 1962Manning, 1977Manning, 1978Sardá et al., 1982), the Western coasts of the Iberian peninsula along the Portuguese coasts (Figueiredo, 1962) in the north, including Madeira islands (Biscoito, 1985), and the Mediterranean Sea (Froglia & Manning, 1989Abelló & Guerao, 2004). Its usual habitat appears to be the muddy bottoms of the upper continental slope at depths comprised between around 175-185 and 700 m (Colloca et al., 2004), but it may also occur on the continental shelf (Dounas & Steudel, 1994Mori & Tunesi, 2001).

Most reports of this species in the Mediterranean Sea refer to the western coasts of the Italian peninsula, from Sicily to Nice (Manning, 1962Manning, 1977; Arena & Greci, 1973Pipitone & Tumbiolo, 1993De Ranieri & Mori, 1994Mori et al., 1998Mori & Tunesi, 2001Ragonese et al., 2001Sartor et al., 2003Innocenti, 2006), but it has also been reported from Menorca in the Balearic Islands (Abelló et al., 1994). The occurrence of this species in the Eastern Mediterranean has been noted by Dounas & Steudel (1994) off Crete and by Özcan et al. (2008) in the Turkish Aegean Sea.

We herein report the occurrence of Parasquilla ferussaci along the southern and eastern coasts of the Iberian peninsula, thus filling the distribution gap between the Atlantic and Central and Eastern Mediterranean records, and providing an additional record in the Gulf of Cadiz (table 1fig. 1).


Table 1. Sampling and biological characteristics of the specimens of Parasquilla ferussaci examined. Tabla 1. Características de muestreo y biológicas de los especímenes de Parasquilla ferussaci examinados.

Fig. 1. Parasquilla ferussaci: known distribution in the Western Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic waters (grey circles: previous reports; black stars: present new reports). Fig. 1. Parasquilla ferussaci: distribución conocida en el Mediterráneo occidental y aguas del Atlantico más cercano (círculos grises: citas anteriores; estrellas negras: nuevas citas).


A total of twelve stomatopod species have been reported in the Mediterranean Sea: Erythrosquilla sp., Allosquilla africana (Manning, 1970), Nannosquilloides occultus (Giesbrecht, 1910), Platysquilla eusebia (Risso, 1816), Platysquilloides lillyae (Manning, 1977), Parasquilla ferussaci (Roux, 1830), Pseudosquillopsis cerisii (Roux, 1828), Erugosquilla massavensis (Kossmann, 1880), Rissoides desmaresti (Risso, 1816), Rissoides pallidus (Giesbrecht, 1910), Squilla mantis (Linnaeus, 1758) and Clorida albolitura Ahyong & Naiyanetr, 2000. The records of Gonodactylus chiragra (Fabricius, 1781) and Gonodactylaceaus falcatus (Forsskål, 1775) are not included since they are considered doubtful (Lewinsohn & Manning, 1980Galil et al., 2002).

Of these 12, only Squilla mantis and Erugosquilla massavensis reach marketable densities and constitute a target for local fisheries (Abelló & Martín, 1993Maynou et al., 2005Sánchez et al., 2007Galil et al., 2002Gökoglu et al., 2008). With the exception of Rissoides pallidus and, to a lesser degree, Rissoides desmarestii, both of which are rather commonly captured by trawling (Colloca et al., 2004Sartor et al., 2003Abelló et al., 2002), most other Mediterranean stomatopods are known from only a few records.

Two of the Mediterranean species entered this sea via the Suez Canal: Erugosquilla massavensis, first recorded in the Mediterranean in 1933 and widely spread in the Eastern Mediterranean (Galil et al., 2002), and Clorida albolitura, recently reported in the Eastern Mediterranean (Ahyong & Galil, 2006). The erythrosquillid Erythrosquilla sp., yet unidentified, has been reported based on a postlarval specimen collected from plankton in the Ligurian Sea (see Froglia, 1992).

The present reports of Parasquilla ferussaci are the first for the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian peninsula and fill the distribution gap between the Atlantic Ocean and the Central Mediterranean populations. The reports of Pseudosquilla ciliata (Fabricius, 1787) by Pérès (1964) in the Gulf of Cadiz and off W Morocco should actually refer to Parasquilla ferussaci (see Manning, 1978).

Little is known about the biology of Parasquilla ferussaciMori et al. (1998) studied some relative growth features, including its diet, and detected a size at maturity of 20 mm CL, as well as some slight sexual dimorphism in raptorial claw size (fig. 2). Parasquilla ferussaci may be considered an active predator since epibenthic mobile crustaceans constitute most of its prey.

Fig. 2. Parasquilla ferussaci: male from Gavà (Barcelona) (ICMS_94/2007), dorsal view. Fig. 2. Parasquilla ferussaci: macho de Gavà (Barcelona) (ICMS_94/2007), vista dorsal.



We wish to thank the crew of the fishing vessel “Silvia y Beni” from Vilanova i la Geltrú and especially its captains, J. Blanco and E. Roca, and the project “Monitoratge dels recursos pesquers i marisquers al litoral català” (Direcció General de Pesca i Afers Marítims, Generalitat de Catalunya) for making specimen #2 available. We are also grateful to F. J. Valladares for identifying specimen #1. Dr. B. Galil provided helpful advice on Mediterranean stomatopod faunistics.


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