Diver Raniero Borg came across an unusual creature while diving in Marsaxlokk during a seabed clean-up – a white shrimp interspersed with blue colours, which initially he thought was dead. When he caught it, the shrimp began to move and swim.
Raniero Borg said that in his forty years of diving along the Maltese coast he has never come across this species before.
This was confirmed by Professor Alan Deidun, who said that this species is known scientifically as Erugosquilla Massavensis or Red Sea mantis shrimp.
Prof Deidun said that this species appeared in Malta for the first time some months ago in Marsa. The shrimp is supposed to live in the Red Sea and appeared in the Mediterranean for the first time in 1933, close to Egypt.
A study published earlier this year confirmed that the shrimp could compete with the Mediterranean shrimp known as Squilla mantis.
The study conducted with the collaboration of a number of experts, amongst them, Prof Deidun can be read here.
Meanwhile, this shrimp forms part of the Spot the Alien Fish Campaign in Malta, and whoever comes across this species is urged to report the sighting here.
New Invasive Species
A new invasive species found in our Maltese Waters during our latest clean-up at Marsaxlokk… I personally thought that marine animal was dead, however as I lifted it up it moved and let it go again. Throughout my 40+ years’ experience in diving I never came across something like this.
Gepostet von Raniero's Adventures – Live Life am Montag, 19. August 2019