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Taxa were selected by RCI scientists based on a combination of criteria including, being easily observable and identifiable underwater and one or more of the following: a Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) or a species protected under European directives or international conventions; sensitive to climate change; an ecosystem engineer; threatened by human activities or commercially exploited. Taken together, these taxa represent key aspects of Mediterranean subtidal habitats, and of the changes they may be undergoing. When it is not easy to discriminate between species, genus level was chosen, as in the case of the two protected Mediterranean seahorses.



Caulerpa cylindracea

Caulerpa taxifolia



Ircinia spp.

Axinella spp.

Aplysina spp.

Geodia cydonium

Tethya spp.



Corallium rubrum (red or precious coral)

Paramuricea clavata (red gorgonian)

Eunicella singularis

Eunicella cavolini (yellow gorgonian)

Eunicella verrucosa (pink sea fan)

Maasella edwardsii

Cornularia cornucopiae

Epizoanthus spp.

Parazoanthus axinellae (yellow cluster anemone)

Savalia savaglia (gold coral)

Cladocora caespitosa (pillow coral)

Astroides calycularis

Balanophyllia europaea

Leptopsammia pruvoti



Pinna nobilis (noble pen shell)

Arca noae (Noah's arch)

Chlamys spp.

Pecten jacobaeus (pilgrim's scallop)

Patella ferruginea (ribbed Mediterranean limpet)

Rapana venosa (veined whelk)


Palinurus elephas (spiny lobster)

Homarus gammarus (European lobster)

Scyllarides latus (Mediterranean slipper lobster)



Paracentrotus lividus (stony sea urchin)

Centrostephanus longispinus

Ophidiaster ophidianus



Microcosmus spp.

Aplidium conicum

Aplidium tabarquensis

Polycitor adriaticus



Sciaena umbra (brown meagre)

Diplodus spp.

Conger conger (conger eel)

Chromis chromis (damselfish)

Trisopterus minutus (poor cod)

Hippocampus spp. (sea horses)


... and gas bubbles!