Checklist of Chondrichthyans in Cyprus

Published on
26. July 2021

Integrating Literature, Biodiversity Databases, and Citizen-Science to Reconstruct the Checklist of Chondrichthyans in Cyprus (Eastern Mediterranean Sea)

Ioannis Giovos, Fabrizio Serena, Dimitra Katsada, Athanasios Anastasiadis, Adi Barash, Charis Charilaou, Jason M. Hall-Spencer, Fabio Crocetta, Alexander Kaminas, Demetris Kletou, Mary Maximiadi, Vasileios Minasidis, Dimitrios K. Moutopoulos, Roxani Naasan Aga-Spyridopoulou, Ioannis Thasitis, Periklis Kleitou


Chondrichthyans are apex predators influencing the trophic web through a top-down process thus their depletion will affect the remaining biota. Notwithstanding that, research on chondrichthyans is sparse or data-limited in several biogeographic areas worldwide, including the Levantine Sea. We revise and update the knowledge of chondrichthyans in Cyprus based on a bibliographic review that gains information retrieved from peer-reviewed and grey literature, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (135 records of at least 18 species) and the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (65 records of at least14 species), and the citizen science project Mediterranean Elasmobranchs Citizen Observations (117 records per 23 species). Our updated checklist reports 60 species that account for about 70% of the Mediterranean chondrichthyan biota. The list includes 15 more species than the previous checklist and our study reports three new species for Cyprus waters, namely the blackmouth catshark Dalatias licha, the round fantail stingray Taeniurops grabatus, and the sawback angelshark Squatina aculeata. Our research highlights the need for conservation measures and more studies regarding the highly threatened blackchin guitarfish Glaucostegus cemiculus and the devil ray Mobula mobular, and stresses the importance for training a new generation of observers to strengthen the knowledge and conservation of elasmobranchs in the region.

Fishes 2021, 6(3), 24; DOI: 10.3390/fishes6030024


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