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The Case of the "Matuta victor" Crab

A research lead by our Museum published in the Journal of Natural History

Published in the Journal of Natural History a study on an alien species of crustaceans, coming from the Red Sea, which has colonized the Israeli coasts, by an Italian-Israeli team led by Gianna Innocenti, in charge of the Crustaceans and Echinoderm collection at La Specola, section of Zoology of the Museum of Natural History, and by Bella S. Galil (Natural History Museum of Tel Aviv) ["Aggressive, omnivorous, invasive: the Erythraean moon crab Matuta victor (Fabricius, 1781) (Crustacea: Decapoda: Matutidae) in the eastern Mediterranean sea" doi: 10.1080/00222933.2017.1363305].

The Matuta victor crab, an aggressive and omnivorous species from the Red Sea, was found in 2012 for the first time in Haifa (Israel) and in 2015 in Antalya (Turkey): in the last two years it has been found in great numbers along the Israeli beaches. The study has shown that this species actively competes for food with specimens of the same species, feeding on small crustaceans and native mollusks, typical of the shoreline. One of the possible causes of its wide diffusion was the replenishment of the beaches with the contribution of more than 100,000 cubic meters of sand, which led to the complete disappearance of the local benthonic fauna

11 December 2017