A new Suez Canal immigrant fish, a goby Oxyurichthys papuensis (Valenciennes, 1837) of wide Indo-Pacific distribution, was found in August 1982 in the vicinity of Tel Aviv and Ashdod on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. This goby is now very common in trawling grounds on sandy and muddy bottoms at depths of 34–45 m. A description of Oxyurichthys papuensis is given based on eastern Mediterranean and southern Red Sea specimens.
A total of 284 species have been identified from the region of the Mediterranean coast of Israel: 198 (69.7%) are Atlanta-Mediterranean; 39 (13.7%) are cosmopolitan or circumtropical; 30 (10.6%) are known to be of Red Sea origin, but include three species which are also cosmopolitan. Twenty species (7.0%) are known from the Mediterranean Sea only. Eighty-five species are recorded that were not in an earlier list of fishes from the coast of Israel (Ben-Tuvia, 1953), and many of these are new records for the eastern Mediterranean. Recent taxonomic revisions and changes in nomenclature have been taken into consideration. The high sea-temperatures of the eastern Mediterranean are probably the limiting factor in the distribution of many boreal and deep-water fishes known from the western Mediterranean. Chimaeridae, Acipenseridae, Berycidae, Luvaridae, Scophthalmidae and Pleuronectidae are not represented in collections from this coast. Gadidae and Moridae are represented only by few and rarely encountered species.
A negative correlation was found between the vertebral counts of Sardinella aurita, belonging to O-age group, and surface temperature at the time of Spawning. As evidence of the same phenomenon a positive correlation was found between the vertebral count and length within each sample.
A. BEN-TUVIA and A. LOURIE
A grouper identified as Epinephelus tauvina (Forsskal. 1775) was caught in Haifa Bay in January 1966. This Red Sea species has not been previously recorded in the Mediterranean. Vivid colouration clearly differentiate E. tauvina from the known Mediterranean serranids.
A. LOURIE and A. BEN-TUVIA
Two Red Sea fishes were recorded for the first time in the eastern Mediterranean. Pelates quadrilineatus (Bloch), family Theraponidae, was collected in Haifa Bay. Crenidens crenidens (Forsskal), family Sparidae, was found in the Bardawil Lagoon on the northern coast of Sinai. Descriptions of Mediterranean specimens of both species are given.
A. BARANES and A. BEN-TUVIA
The sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus (Nardo, 1827) is recorded for the first time from the Red Sea. Two specimens from this area are described. Data are presented on its biology, and the distribution of this species in the Indo-Pacific and Atlanto-Mediterranean regions is discussed.
A. BARANES and A. BEN-TUVIA
Two rare species of sharks of the family Carcharhinidae have been collected in the Gulf of Elat (= Gulf of 'Aqaba), northern Red Sea. A description of Hemipristis elongatus (Klunzinger, 1871) is based on one specimen, with additional data based on a specimen collected in the Gulf of Oman; a description of Iago omanensis (Norman, 1939) is based on four specimens caught at a depth of 500–1000 m. This is the first record of this species from the Red Sea although it seems that photographs of specimens resting on the bottom at great depths were published by Marshall and Bourne in 1964.
H. STEINITZ and A. BEN-TUVIA
Twelve species of fishes, all previously recorded from the Suez Canal, were collected. Seven are of Red Sea origin and five are from the Mediterranean. Four of the Red Sea species have migrated to the Mediterranean.
D. GOLANI, A. BEN-TUVIA and B. GALIL
The squirrelfish, Sargocentron rubrum (Forsskål, 1775), is a successful Suez Canal immigrant common along the Mediterranean coast of Israel and caught occasionally in small quantities in commercial catch by trammel net and by hook-and-line. Monthly samples of stomach contents of this fish caught off 'Akko (Acre), Israel, from October 1979 to October 1980 were examined. Decapoda constituted the bulk of the diet, the remainder being Polychaeta, Isopoda, Mollusca and fishes. S. rubrum feeds intensively in summer and lightly in winter. Seasonal predominance of each taxon in the diet was measured by an alimentary coefficient calculated as a product of the frequency and weight percentages. Brachyura constituted 77.8% in summer, 94.7% in fall and winter; Anomura constituted 82.4% in spring. Pisidia longimana, Portunus hastatus, Xantho spp. and Pilumnus hirtellus were the most commonly-found prey. No preference for feeding on Suez Canal invertebrate immigrants of Red Sea origin was observed. It is concluded that S. rubrum inhabits rocky bottom, at depths of 10–40 m and feeds at night.