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Plectropomus oligacanthus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES EPINEPHELIDAE

Scientific Name: Plectropomus oligacanthus
Species Authority: (Bleeker, 1855)
Common Name(s):
English Highfin Coral Grouper, Vermicular Coralgrouper, Blue-lined Coralgrouper, Blue-lined Coral Trout, Vermiculate Coral Trout
French Merou-loche Cacatois
Spanish Mero Vela
Synonym(s):
Plectropoma oligacathus Bleeker, 1855
Plectropoma variegatum Castelnau, 1875
Plectropomus oligacanthus (Bleeker, 1855)
Plectropomus oligocanthus (Bleeker, 1855) – not valid; misspelling

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Cabanban, A.S., Sadovy, Y. & Samoilys, M.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Justification:
Plectropomus oligacanthus is listed as Near Threatened because throughout its range it is overfished for subsistence and for export in the Live Reef Fish Trade. It occurs in low numbers in the wild and is susceptible to degradation of shallow coral reefs (primary habitat) and is probably in decline close to 30%. When more data become available, it may be proven to be a threatened species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Plectropomus oligacanthus is a western Pacific species found in the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, northeastern Australia (Cape York to northern Great Barrier Reef), Belau, Truk, Caroline Islands, Marshall Islands, and the Solomon Islands (FishBase); it is reported from Malaysia (Abu Khair et al. 1993), Western Australia (Scott Reefs), Timor Sea and Hibernia Reef.
Countries:
Native:
Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia; Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Solomon Islands; Timor-Leste
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Plectropomus oligacanthus is rare in most areas (Lieske and Myers 1994), but is well known in the Philippines (Heemstra and Randall 1993). It is found in low numbers even in protected areas (e.g., about 1 in 500 m²; Cabanban and Kassem unpub. data). There is no information on population trend.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Plectropomus oligacanthus is reef-associated and inhabits drop-offs and steep channel slopes (Lieske and Myers 1994). It is dependent on good-quality coral reefs. It is reported to forage in groups of two or three for rock- and sand living crustaceans and fishes; L-W relationship: Y = 0.0268 cm SL x 2.9317 (Cabanban and Kassem unpub. data).

It has been implicated in ciguatera poisoning in some parts of its range (Heemstra and Randall 1993).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Plectropomus oligacanthus is incidental and subsistence fisheries throughout its range. It is not targeted, but if caught can be found in trade including internationally in the live reef food fish trade. It is threatened by the destruction of coral reefs by fisheries damage and global warming.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Plectropomus oligacanthus occurs in a few protected areas throughout its range (e.g., Great Barrier Reef Marine Park).

Citation: Cabanban, A.S., Sadovy, Y. & Samoilys, M. 2008. Plectropomus oligacanthus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 October 2014.
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