An outbreak of perna perna (Linnaeus, 1758) (mollusca, bivalvia, mytilidae) in the eastern mediterranean

Jacob Douek, Guy Paz, Kfir Gayer, Moti Mendelson, Baruch Rinkevich, Bella S. Galil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An outbreak of the widely invasive mytilid mussel Perna perna is reported off Israel, long after its previously documented ephemeral occurrence in the mid-1960s. No contemporary populations are known east of the Gulf of Tunis, in the central Mediterranean Sea. Four molecular markers, the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), ribosomal 18S, 28S subunits (18S rRNA, 28S rRNA) and histone H3 have been used to validate samples identities. COI haplotype diversity suggests that the Israeli population is highly polymorphic, originating from multiple propagules. The present extensive beds in Haifa Bay, home to Haifa port, may point to vessel-transported introduction. The dense beds of P. perna may change intertidal habitats and their communities, and cause fouling of coastal infrastructure (e.g. marine outfalls, seawalls, jetties), as well as offshore infrastructure (e.g. offshore terminals, energy production platforms), and may incur heavy maintenance costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-148
Number of pages13
JournalBioInvasions Records
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Douek et al.


  • Biofouling
  • Genetic diversity
  • Invasive alien species
  • Levant Sea
  • Molecular markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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