Morphologic and genetic identification of Pisodonophis semicinctus (Richardson, 1848) in the Northeastern Levant Basin



On July 27, 2022, a mature female specimen of Pisodonophis semicinctus (Richardson, 1848), belonging to the Anguilliformes family Ophichthidae, was captured in the northeastern Levant Basin of the Mediterranean. The observation took place at a depth of approximately 20 meters, off the Seyhan River, in an area characterized by a sandy and muddy bottom. The specimen measured 92.5 cm in total length. The total weight was 683 gr. Notably, it exhibited full ripe gonads, indicating its readiness for reproduction. The stomach of the specimen contained partially digested hard-shelled crustaceans and mollusks. Genetic analysis of the Cytochrome Oxidase-1 (COI) gene provided valuable sequence information, applicable for future molecular identification and phylogenetic studies. The presence of a mature female with a large size and a full stomach suggests the area's potential suitability for P. semicinctus in the Levant Basin.


Alien Species; Anguilliformes; COI; DNA-Barcoding; Ophichthidae; the Eastern Mediterranean

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