Lessepsian migrants, named after Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French engineer in charge of the Suez Canal's construction, are marine species that are native to the waters on one side of the Suez Canal, and which have been introduced by passage through the canal to the waters on its other side, giving rise to new colonies there and often becoming invasive.

The Indian mackerel, Rastrelliger kanagurta, an example of Lessepsian migrant

Most Lessepsian migrations are of Red Sea species invading the Mediterranean Sea; few occur in the opposite direction.

Red Sea species to Mediterranean Sea

The year given denotes the first record in the Mediterranean (often distinct from the year of publication).

Species Group Year Ref.
Acanthurus sohal Actinopterygii: Acanthuridae 2022 [1]
Acanthurus xanthopterus Actinopterygii: Acanthuridae 2022 [1]
Actaea savignii Crustacea: Xanthidae 2010 [2]
Alepes djedaba Actinopterygii: Carangidae 1927 [3][4]
Alepes kleinii Actinopterygii: Carangidae 1966 [5]
Alpheus edwardsii Crustacea: Alpheidae 1924 [6]
Alpheus inopinatus Crustacea: Alpheidae 1936 [7]
Alpheus rapacida Crustacea: Alpheidae 1964 [7]
Apogonichthyoides pharaonis Actinopterygii: Apogonidae 1947 [8]
Aquilonastra burtoni Echinodermata: Asterinidae 1966 [9]
Arcuatula arcuatula Mollusca: Mytilidae [10]
Arcuatula perfragilis Mollusca: Mytilidae 1960 [10][11]
Arcuatula senhousia Mollusca: Mytilidae 2004 [12]
Ashtoret lunaris Crustacea: Matutidae 1987 [7]
Aspidosiphon elegans Phascolosomatidea: Aspidosiphonidae 1957 [13]
Atergatis roseus Crustacea: Xanthidae 1961 [7]
Atherinomorus lacunosus Actinopterygii: Atherinidae 1902 [14]
Belzebub hanseni Crustacea: Luciferidae 1924 [7]
Brachidontes pharaonis Mollusca: Mytilidae 1876 [15]
Caesio varilineata Actinopterygii: Caesionidae 2018 [16]
Callionymus filamentosus Actinopterygii: Callionymidae 1953 [17][4]
Caloria indica Mollusca: Facelinidae 1986 [18][19]
Carcharhinus melanopterus Chondrichthyes: Carcharhinidae 2005 [20]
Carupa tenuipes Crustacea: Portunidae 1996 [21]
Champsodon capensis Actinopterygii: Champsodontidae 2012 [22]
Champsodon nudivittis Actinopterygii: Champsodontidae 2008 [23]
Champsodon vorax Actinopterygii: Champsodontidae 2010 [24]
Chaetodon austriacus Actinopterygii: Chaetodontidae 2011 [25]
Chaetodon larvatus Actinopterygii: Chaetodontidae 2011 [26]
Charybdis hellerii Crustacea: Portunidae 1924 [7]
Charybdis longicollis Crustacea: Portunidae 1959 [7]
Cheilodipterus novemstriatus Actinopterygii: Apogonidae 2010 [27]
Conus arenatus Mollusca: Conidae [10]
Crenidens crenidens Actinopterygii: Sparidae 1970 [28]
Cryptocentrus caeruleopunctatus Actinopterygii: Gobiidae 2015 [29]
Cymothoa indica Crustacea: Cymothoidae 2009 [30]
Cucurbitula cymbium Mollusca: Gastrochaenidae [10]
Decapterus russelli Actinopterygii: Carangidae 2005 [31]
Diodora ruppellii Mollusca: Fissurellidae [10]
Dussumieria acuta Actinopterygii: Clupeidae 1953 [4]
Epinephelus areolatus Actinopterygii: Serranidae 2016 [32]
Epinephelus coioides Actinopterygii: Serranidae 1969 [33]
Epinephelus fasciatus Actinopterygii: Serranidae 2012 [34]
Epinephelus geoffroyi Actinopterygii: Serranidae 2015 [34]
Equulites popei Actinopterygii: Leiognathidae 2011 [35][36]
Equulites klunzingeri Actinopterygii: Leiognathidae 1931 [37][4]
Eucrate crenata Crustacea: Goneplacidae 1924 [38][7]
Fenneropenaeus indica Crustacea: Penaeidae 1981 [6]
Ferosagitta galerita Chaetognatha: Sagittidae 2003 [39]
Fistularia commersonii Actinopterygii: Fistulariidae 2000 [40]
Fulvia fragilis Mollusca: Cardiidae 2005 [41]
Gafrarium pectinatum Mollusca: Veneridae [10]
Goniobranchus annulatus Mollusca: Chromodorididae 2004 [42]
Hemiramphus far Actinopterygii: Hemiramphidae 1927 [43]
Heniochus intermedius Actinopterygii: Chaetodontidae 2003 [44]
Herklotsichthys punctatus Actinopterygii: Clupeidae 1943 [45]
Heterosaccus dollfusi Crustacea: Sacculinidae 1992 [46]
Himantura uarnak Chondrichthyes: Dasyatidae 1955 [47]
Hippocampus fuscus Actinopterygii: Syngnathidae 2001 [48]
Hyastenus hilgendorfi Crustacea: Epialtidae 1960 [7]
Hyporhamphus affinis Actinopterygii: Hemiramphidae 1964 [49]
Ixa monodi Crustacea: Leucosiidae 1955 [7]
Jaydia queketti Actinopterygii: Apogonidae 2006 [50]
Jaydia smithi Actinopterygii: Apogonidae 2013 [51]
Lagocephalus guentheri Actinopterygii: Tetraodontidae 2005 [52]
Lagocephalus sceleratus Actinopterygii: Tetraodontidae 2016 [53]
Lagocephalus spadiceus Actinopterygii: Tetraodontidae 1953 [4]
Lagocephalus suezensis Actinopterygii: Tetraodontidae 1977 [54]
Leonnates persicus Annelida: Nereididae 2001 [55]
Leptochela aculeocaudata Crustacea: Pasiphaeidae 1933 [7]
Leucosia signata Crustacea: Leucosiidae 1953 [7]
Lophioturris indica Mollusca: Turridae [10]
Marsupenaeus japonicus Crustacea: Penaeidae 1924 [56][7]
Metapenaeus monoceros Crustacea: Penaeidae 1924 [7]
Metapenaeus stebbingi Crustacea: Penaeidae 1924 [7]
Metapenaeopsis aegypti Crustacea: Penaeidae 1990 [57]
Metapenaeopsis mogiensis Crustacea: Penaeidae 1997 [38]
Modiolus auriculatus Mollusca: Mytilidae 1960 [10]
Myrax fugax Crustacea: Leucosiidae 1930 [6]
Nemipterus japonicus Actinopterygii: Nemipteridae 2006 [58]
Nemipterus randalli Actinopterygii: Nemipteridae 2006 [59]
Notopus dorsipes Crustacea: Raninidae 1962 [7]
Ogyrides mjoebergi Crustacea: Ogyrididae 1947 [7]
Ostorhinchus fasciatus Actinopterygii: Apogonidae 2008 [60]
Oxyurichthys petersii Actinopterygii: Oxudercidae 1983 [61]
Palaemonella rotumana Crustacea: Palaemonidae 1948 [7]
Pampus argenteus Actinopterygii: Stromateidae 1896 [62]
Panulirus ornatus Crustacea: Palinuridae 1988 [7]
Papilloculiceps longiceps Actinopterygii: Platycephalidae 1986 [63]
Parexocoetus mento Actinopterygii: Exocoetidae 1935 [64]
Parupeneus forsskali Actinopterygii: Mullidae 2000 [65]
Pelates quadrilineatus Actinopterygii: Terapontidae 1970 [4]
Penaeus hathor Crustacea: Penaeidae 1997 [51]
Penaeus semisulcatus Crustacea: Penaeidae 1928 [7]
Periclimenes calmani Crustacea: Palaemonidae 1924 [7]
Petroscirtes ancylodon Actinopterygii: Blenniidae 1989 [66]
Phidiana militaris Mollusca: Facelinidae 2016 [19]
Pilumnopeus vauquelini Crustacea: Xanthidae 1924 [7]
Plagusia tuberculata Crustacea: Grapsidae 1981 [7]
Planiliza carinata Actinopterygii: Mugilidae 1971 [4]
Platax teira Actinopterygii: Ephippidae 2010 [67]
Platycephalus indicus Actinopterygii: Platycephalidae 1953 [63]
Plectorhinchus gaterinus Actinopterygii: Haemulidae 2016 [68]
Plotosus lineatus Actinopterygii: Plotosidae 2001 [69]
Pomacanthus imperator Actinopterygii: Pomacanthidae 2010 [67]
Pomacanthus maculosus Actinopterygii: Pomacanthidae 2009 [70]
Pomadasys stridens Actinopterygii: Haemulidae 1969 [71]
Portunus segnis Crustacea: Portunidae 1898 [72]
Priacanthus sagittarius Actinopterygii: Priacanthidae 2009 [67]
Processa aequimana Crustacea: Processidae 1946 [6]
Pteragogus trispilus Actinopterygii: Labridae 1992 [73]
Pterois miles Actinopterygii: Scorpaenidae 1992 [74]
Rachycentron canadum Actinopterygii: Rachycentridae 1986 [75]
Rastrelliger kanagurta Actinopterygii: Scombridae 1971 [73]
Ratabulus prionotus Actinopterygii: Platycephalidae 1947 [63]
Rhopilema nomadica Cnidaria: Rhizostomatidae 1970s [76]
Sardinella gibbosa Actinopterygii : Clupeidae 2008 [77]
Sargocentron rubrum Actinopterygii: Holocentridae 1947 [4]
Saron marmoratus Crustacea: Hippolytidae 2013 [51]
Saurida lessepsianus Actinopterygii: Synodontidae 1953 [78][79]
Scarus ghobban Actinopterygii: Scaridae 1999 [80]
Scomberomorus commerson Actinopterygii: Scombridae 1935 [81]
Sepia dollfusi Mollusca: Sepiidae 2015 [82]
Sepia pharaonis Mollusca: Sepiidae 2003 [83][84]
Sepioteuthis lessoniana Mollusca: Loliginidae 2002 [85]
Siganus luridus Actinopterygii: Siganidae 1964 [86]
Siganus rivulatus Actinopterygii: Siganidae 1927 [87]
Sillago suezensis Actinopterygii: Sillaginidae 1977 [4][88]
Sphaerozius nitidus Crustacea: Xanthidae 1976 [7]
Sphyraena chrysotaenia Actinopterygii: Sphyraenidae 1930 [4]
Sphyraena flavicauda Actinopterygii: Sphyraenidae 1991 [89]
Spratelloides delicatulus Actinopterygii: Clupeidae 1978 [90]
Stephanolepis diaspros Actinopterygii: Monacanthidae 1927 [4]
Synanceia verrucosa Actinopterygii: Scorpaenidae 2010 [91]
Synchiropus sechellensis Actinopterygii: Callionymidae 2014 [92]
Terapon jarbua Actinopterygii: Terapontidae 2010 [93]
Terapon puta Actinopterygii: Terapontidae 1976 [93]
Tetrosomus gibbosus Actinopterygii: Ostraciidae 1988 [94]
Thalamita poissonii Crustacea: Portunidae 1952 [7]
Trachurus indicus Actinopterygii: Carangidae 2009 [95]
Trachysalambria palaestinensis Crustacea: Penaeidae 1924 [7]
Trochus erithreus Mollusca: Trochidae [10]
Torquigener flavimaculosus Actinopterygii: Tetraodontidae 1987 [52]
Trypauchen vagina Actinopterygii: Oxudercidae 2011 [96]
Tylerius spinosissimus Actinopterygii: Tetraodontidae 2005 [97]
Tylosurus choram Actinopterygii: Belonidae 1963 [98]
Upeneus moluccensis Actinopterygii: Mullidae 1947 [4]
Upeneus pori Actinopterygii: Mullidae 1950 [4]
Urocaridella pulchella Crustacea: Palaemonidae 2008 [21]
Vanderhorstia mertensi Actinopterygii: Gobiidae 2008 [99]

Mediterranean species to Red Sea

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General references

  • Dulcic, J. and A. Pallaoro (2003). Lessepsian Fish Migrants Reported in the East Adriatic Sea: An Annotated List, Ser. hist. nat..
  • Golani, D. (1998). Impact of Red Sea Fish Migrants through the Suez Canal on the Aquatic Environment of the Eastern Mediterranean, Yale FE&S Bulletin 103.
  • Tortonese E (1966). "Echinoderms from the coast of Lebanon". Misc Pap Nat Sci Am Univ Beirut. 5: 2–5.