Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

ISSN: 2332-2543

Open Access

Caves Biodiversity in the Marine Area of Riviera d'Ulisse Regional Park, Italy: Grotta del Maresciallo Overview


Adriano Madonna, Magdy A. Alwany, Dea Rabbito, Samantha Trocchia, Sofiane Labar, Fagr Kh. Abdel-Gawad, Rosa D’Angelo, Alessandra Gallo, Giulia Guerriero and Gaetano Ciarcia

The caves have a significant economic importance in their role as tourist attraction and are of great importance for the presence of some rare species. The fauna identification in the “Grotta del Maresciallo” cave, situated in the Riviera di Ulisse Regional Park, started in march 2013 by a visual census and molecular approach. The studies allowed to detect 12 classes, 46 families, 47 species with their ecological niches, and the percentage contribution of each group to the Mediterranean marine cave diversity. Furthermore, we report the presence of two thermophilic species, as the star coral, Astroides calycularis (Pallas, 1766) and the goldblotch grouper, Epinephelus costae (Steindachner, 1878); the tropical species, the ringneck blenny Parablennius pilicornis (Cuvier, 1829); the endangered species, the dusky grouper Epinephelus marginatus (Lowe, 1834) included in the IUCN Red List; the rare species, the black brotula Grammonus ater (Risso, 1810), and some uncommon species such as the golden coral shrimp, Stenopus spinosus (Risso, 1826) and the spotted bumblebee shrimp, Gnatophillum elegans (Risso, 1816). Species of economic and medical interest were also recorded. In a DNA barcoding approach, Neighbour Joining (NJ) phylogenetic tree of 25 mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I species sequences, indicates that COI gene is suitable for an unambiguous identification. This first geological and biological attempt at the Marine Area of the “Grotta del Maresciallo” provides useful indications to focus future investigations, and may become a potential management tool for local administrations to protect these habitats.


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