Presence of tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon in the Chelem lagoon, Yucatan, Mexico

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Presence of tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon

in the Chelem lagoon, Yucatan, Mexico

Armando T. Wakida-Kusunoki


, Humberto Armando Medina-Quijano


y Ramón Isaac Rojas-González

** Giant tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon (Decapoda: Penaeidae) has been reported as an invader in the Gulf of Mexico. We present the first record of P. monodon in the Chelem Lagoon, Yucatan, Mexico. On Febru-ary 27, 2015, two giant tiger shrimp specimens were caught by fishermen using a stow net (current net) at the bridges of the road to Yucalpeten harbor. One of these specimens was a female of 230 mm total length (tl) and 80 g total weight (tw) and the male was 198 mm tl and 60 g tw. A greater number of

sampling campaigns are required to assess the presence of this species in other coastal lagoons in the State of Yucatan.

Key words: Invasive species, tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon, Yucatan.

Presencia del camarón tigre Penaeus monodon

en la laguna de Chelem, Yucatán, México

En este trabajo se reporta al camarón tigre gigante Penaeus monodon (Decapoda: Penaeidae) como inva-sor en el Golfo de México. Se reporta el primer registro de P. monodon en la laguna de Chelem, Yucatán, México. El 27 de febrero de 2015, dos camarones tigres gigantes fueron capturados por pescadores con una red de corriente en el puente del camino hacia el puerto de Yucalpetén. Uno de los especímenes era hembra y el otro macho, la hembra midió 230 mm de longitud total (tl) y pesó 80 g (tw) y el macho 198

cm tl y 60 g (tw). Se requiere mayor número de campañas de muestreo y monitoreo para evaluar la

pres-encia y el efecto de esta especie en otras lagunas costeras en el estado de Yucatán.

Palabras clave: Especie invasora, camarón tigre, Penaeus monodon, Yucatán.

* Centro Regional de Investigación Pesquera - Yucalpetén. Ins-tituto Nacional de Pesca. sagarpa. Boulevar del Pescador s/n,

esquina con antigua carretera a Chelem Puerto de Abrigo. cp

97320. Yucalpetén, Progreso, Yucatán. México.

** Centro Regional de Investigación Pesquera - Lerma. Institu-to Nacional de Pesca. sagarpa. Carretera Campeche-Lerma km. 5, cp 24500 Lerma, Campeche, México.

The giant tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon (Fabricius 1798) occurs in the Indo-West Pa-cific oceans including East Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Australia (fao 2011). In their native range, when they are mature, they breed in tropical marine habitats. Larvae, juveniles and sub-adults occupy shal-low coastal estuaries, lagoons and mangrove areas. Sub-adults subsequently move offshore, where they mature and breed, living on sandy or muddy-sand bottoms in up to 110 m water depth (Holthuis 1980).

Tiger shrimps were widely farmed outside of their native range where conditions were suit-able, including West Africa and various locations throughout the Caribbean (Knott et al. 20151).

This condition has facilitated the introduction and subsequent establishment of this species in extraneous ecosystems. For example, giant tiger shrimp have been reported in West Africa from Senegal to northern Angola (Knott et al. 20151),

in South America from Colombia to Brazil (Gó-mez-Lemos & Campos 2008, Cintra et al. 2011), Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean (Giménez Hurtado et al. 2013,

Knott et al. 20151), and Costa Rica

(Alfaro-Montoya et al. 2015). In Mexico, this species was

1. Knott DM, PL Fuller, AJ Benson, ME Neilson. 2015. Penaeus

monodon. usgs Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database,

Gainesville, FL. aspx?SpeciesID=1209


reported for the first time in the coastal lagoon sys-tem Huizache-Caimanero in the State of Sinaloa (Córdova-Murueta et al. 1994) and several states of the Gulf of Mexico, Tamaulipas, Tabasco, Campeche (Wakida-Kusunoki et al. 2013), Vera-cruz (Morán-Silva et al. 2014) and western part of Yucatan state (Wakida-Kusunoki et al. 2016a).

The sources of these introductions into Mexican locations are unknown. This paper is the first report of giant tiger shrimp in the Che-lem lagoon, north Yucatan State. The coastline vegetation line in Chelem lagoon is primar-ily of a mangrove forest Rhizophora mangle and

Laguncularia racemosa. The submerged

vegeta-tion in the middle and outer part of the lagoon is dominated by seagrass Ruppia maritima, Thalassia

testudinum and Halodule wrigthii. Meanwhile in

the interior, the red algae Laurencia microcladia is dominant (Herrera-Silveira et al. 1998).

The bridges in the Chelem Lagoon, where the giant tiger shrimps were captured, are the most important places of the passing water dur-ing current tides. This condition is used by

fisher-men to catch shrimp with a stow net and during the “nortes” (from October to February, when northerly winds predominant) season (Wakida-Kusunoki et al. 2016b). The substrate type of the bridges area is sandy sediments consist of heav-ily bioturbated mix of sands and autochthonous carbonate ooze, with a large number of shells of living and dead burrowing organisms (Valdes & Real 1998); the water surface temperature was 21 oc.

On February 27, 2015, two specimens of tiger shrimp P. monodon were captured and reported by artisanal fishermen; they were using a stow net in the areas of the bridges in the road to Yu-calpeten harbor in Yucatan (Fig. 1).

One of these specimens was an immature

female of 230 mm total length (tl) and total

weight (tw) of 80 g and the male was 198 cm tl and 60 g tw.

The specimens were deposited in the

Crusta-cean Collection of Yucatan, unam-Sisal, under

catalog number yuc-cc-255-11-000889.

Speci-mens’ species were confirmed using Dall et al.

Fig. 1. The black circle indicates the capture location of two specimens of giant tiger


(1990) and Pérez-Farfante & Kensley (1997) identification keys.

The specimens caught in the Chelem lagoon had an overall rusty brown color and the distinc-tive black and white banding across the back and on the tail (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2. Specimen of Penaeus monodon captured on

Fe-bruary 27, 2015 in Chelem lagoon, Yucatán, México. yuc -cc-255-11-000889. Photography by Humberto Armando Me-dina Quijano.

The presence of giant tiger shrimp in the Chelem lagoon is the first report on the western part of the Yucatan coast. This report is just the third in a coastal lagoon in the Mexican part of Gulf of Mexico (Wakida-Kusunoki et al. 2013, 2016). This lagoon receives very little groundwater in-put and the surrounding area has been heavily impacted by urban development (Pei-Chuan et

al. 2016) and the construction of Yucalpeten

Harbor in 1969 (Valdes & Real 1998).

The pathways of introduction of tiger shrimp to this zone are unclear, but the most probable sources may be: 1) the release of larvae in bal-last water taken onboard within areas where P.

monodon is an invasive species, or 2) migration

from areas where established invasive popula-tions of tiger shrimp exist.

Other authors hypothesized that ballast water discharge might be the origin of the introduction of P. monodon in other regions in America

(Sever-ino-Rodrigues et al. 20002). An important source

of ballast water in the zone is the Port of Progreso, Yucatan, which is the most important cargo port in Southeastern Mexico, and is very close to the Chelem lagoon. Passenger and cargo ships arrive from Texas, Louisiana, Cuba and Costa Rica (sct 20153). Established tiger shrimp populations have

been reported in these locations.

The life cycle of P. monodon is the same of the coastal peneid shrimp, larvae, juvenile and young sub-adult occupying shallow coastal estua-ries, lagoons, and mangrove areas. Sub-adults subsequently move to offshore (Chaudhari & Jalihal 1993), mature specimens breed predomi-nantly on sand or muddy-sand bottom in near shore marine habitats (Motoh 1981). The female specimen caught in the lagoon of Chelem had a larger size than the spawning estimated size for

this species (175 mm lt, Primavera 1998), but

her ovaries were colorless. According to the ova-ry stage scale of Tan-Fermin & Pudadera (1989), this ovary was immature. This condition could be because this species breeds in marine habitats and the date of capture was off peak the spawn-ing period reported for this species in its native range (Kannan et al. 2014).

The low number of adult tiger shrimp and no detection of juvenile specimens could be indicat-ing that the level of invasion is in early stages.

The ecological effects of P. monodon are still unknown in the area. In contrast, the possible ecological effects of P. monodon may include di-rect predation on local fauna (Fuller et al. 2014), transmission of alien pathogens (Soowannayan & Phanthura 2011), competing with other spe-cies for space and food (Marte 1980), interfering with the breeding behavior or breeding success of native shrimp species, and direct predation by

P. monodon on native shrimp species (Molnar et

al. 2008, Knott et al. 20151).

2. Severino-Rodrigues E, OJS Barreto, RW Perroni. 2000.

Penaeus monodon Fabricius (Crustacea, Decapoda,

Penaeidae) no estuário de Santos. Resumos de I Congresso

Brasileiro sobre Crustaceos, São Pedro, Brazil Octubre 16-20,

2000. 186p.

3. sct. 2015. Puerto de Yucatán, Progreso, el puerto del sureste mexicano. México. Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes. cgi?folio=18


Penaeus monodon is an aggressive predator

in its native range and, if established, may prey on native shrimps, crabs, and bivalves (Fuller

et al. 2014), affecting the ecological chain. This

could be the most important ecological effects of this invasive species.

In Chelem lagoon, there is subsistence fish-ing of shrimp Farfantepenaus brasiliensis and F.

duorarum (Medina-Quijano 2010). There is

con-cern that P. monodon could reduce the fishing yield of shrimp by predation. In Colombia, lo-cal people prefer the native white shrimp, thus

P. monodon juveniles are mixed with the native

shrimps to confuse the buyers at local markets (Sandoval et al. 2014).

Additional sampling and monitoring is re-quired to assess and understand the population dynamics and potential impacts of this new ex-otic species on the native fauna of Yucatan coast.


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Recibido: 18 de diciembre de 2015. Aceptado: 26 de septiembre de 2016.





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