Nature Iraq Organization has recorded the occurrence of jellyfish for the first time in marshes of Iraq. The animals were detected in the Main Outflow Drain canal and in Southern parts of "East Hammar" and "West Hammar" Marshes.
The jellyfish species is a Scyphomedusae and was identified as Catostylus perezi, which belongs to the Family Catostylidae and to Order Rhizostomeae. This is the first record of this species for Iraq.
The species was observed in July 2016 and after monitoring the area samples were collected in August from the aforementioned sites for study.
Noteworthy, both of East Hammar Marshes and West Hammar Marshes are connected to the MOD canal from the south side and then to Khor Al-Zubair and then to the Arabian Gulf.
So, these parts of marshes are influenced by the tidal effect of the gulf through the connection to the MOD and this leads to the upward movement of such species to the marshes in addition to the occurrence of this species is an evidence of the change in the water salinity and environment of the area.
The distribution of this species indicates that it occurs in the southern coast of the Peninsula and the Arabian Gulf as it was recorded in the Iranian coast in 1956 near Kharj and in Pakistan.
Nature Iraq collaborated with a jellyfish expert from Brazil, and is cooperating to develop and publish the relevant scientific research soon.
It has to be emphasized that this record is the intellectual property for Nature Iraq experts and it has the sole copyright. So, it is hoped that researcher, scientific establishments and universities consider this important note.
Nature Iraq Organization.