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Plectropomus maculatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES EPINEPHELIDAE

Scientific Name: Plectropomus maculatus
Species Authority: (Bloch, 1790)
Common Name/s:
English Bar-cheeked Trout, Red Emperor, Island Trout, Leopard Fish, Leopard Trout, Barred-cheek Coral Trout, Spotted Coralgrouper
French Babonne, Vielle Saint-silac, Vielle Saint Sillac
Spanish Mero Con Pintas
Synonym/s:
Bodianus maculatus Bloch, 1790
Plectropomus maculatus (Bloch, 1790)
Taxonomic Notes: Frequently confused with P. leopardus. Issue of hybridization could impact on management.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor/s: Choat, J.H., Sadovy, Y., Craig, M.T., Ferreira, B. & Rocha, L.
Reviewer/s: Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Justification:
Plectropomus maculatus is wide-spread and locally abundant with protective measures in places with greatest abundance (Australia). It is heavily fished in the Southeast Asian part of its range, but there is very little information, and overall, the global population is unlikely to be declining at a rate close to 30%. Therefore, the species is currently listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Plectropomus maculatus is known only from the western tropical Pacific: Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Australia (Western Australia to southern Queensland). The species was formerly listed for the western Indian Ocean (Heemstra and Randall 1984) due to a misidentification of P. pessuliferus (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

West Thailand-Myanmar, Bintan, Sumatra, Seribu, Java Bali, Malay/Singapore, east Indonesia, Togean Islands, Suluwasei, Ambon, Halimahera, Flores, Komodo Sunda Islands, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Philippines, Solomon Islands; northwest Australia, Great Barrier Reef, South Taiwan, Micronesia, and Palau.
Countries:
Native:
Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Indonesia; Malaysia; Myanmar; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: General
As with P. leopardus, the main area of abundance is on the Australian plate.

Fisheries-independent data
Halford (Indonesia) and Hamilton (Solomons PNG) report (pers. comm.) report this species as rare to uncommon during underwater surveys. The main species of Plectropomus encountered in these surveys was P. areolatus. Occurrence records and abundance estimates show a characteristic onshore to offshore decline in abundance in this species. The summary of a comprehensive analysis of the distribution and abundance of four species of Plectropomus of the NE coast of Australia and the Coral Sea (Ayling and Ayling 1986) is provided in Table 1.

Follow the link below for Table 1.

There appear to be few estimates of abundance of this species in the Indonesian and Philippine archipelagos. As with P. leopardus, this species appears to be relatively rare at low latitudes and achieves its greatest abundance in inshore reef habitats on the Australian plate.

Not recorded on offshore Western Australia reefs. (Done et al. 1994)
For further information about this species, see 132818_Plectropomus_maculatus.pdf.
A PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader is required.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: General
P. maculatus inhabits largely coastal and inshore reefs contrasting with other species of Plectropomus that are mainly associated with offshore and oceanic reefs. Turbid water and coastal habitats have resulted in relatively few abundance estimates. The depth of capture is typically from 5 to 50 m.

Reproduction
The reproductive biology of this species is complex (Brown et al. 1991). Adams (2002) concluded this species was a diandric protogynous hermaphrodite after sampling 104 individuals from the northern Great Barrier Reef. Histological examination revealed immature males with a primary testis configuration at one year of age, transitional gonads in females five to six years of age and the presence of females with precursory sperm sinuses. The operation sex ratio in the sample collection was 3.1F:1.0M. Maximum age of females was six years, males ten years suggesting all females changed sex. No evidence of large long-lived females was collected.

The most important aspect of the reproductive biology is the evidence for hybridization between P. leopardus and P. maculatus on the east coast of Australia (Frisch and van Herwerden 2006, van Herwerden et al. 2006). Analyses in van Herwerden et al. (2006) suggest that P. leopardus females have hybridized historically with P. maculatus males and that P. maculatus mitochondria were displaced through introgressive hybridization and fixation in the P. maculatus founder population on the Great Barrier Reef. Both species co-occur on mid shelf reefs of the east coast but not on the west coast where hybridization has not been recorded. It is unknown if hybridization occurs at any other localities where these two species co-occur.

Age and growth
Ferreira and Russ (1992) aged 103 individuals. Tmax was 12 years with L max 710 mm FL , Linf 732 mm Fl, K 2.1, Z 0.39. The median size of the sample was 370 mm FL and median age of 4 yrs. P. maculatus is relatively fast growing with males achieving a greater growth rate than females (Adams and William 2001). Adams (2002) estimated age based reproductive parameters with 50% female maturity at 18 months and 300 mm FL. No age-based data is available from other regions.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): P. maculatus is subject to fishing over most of it’s range including the Live Reef Fish Trade (LRFT). Was the 4th most abundant serranid recorded in a survey of the NW Australia coastal trap and line fishery (Moran et al. 1988). Commercially fished over much of its range for both local consumption and the LRFT (Lau and Li 2000). Records of capture may be difficult to interpret as this species is usually lumped with P. leopardus in the east Australian fishery.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: P. maculatus is presently protected in eastern Australia by the GBRMPA marine park zoning system (Russ pers comm.) has reported a 20% increase in three years in coastal MPAs on the Great Barrier Reef relative to open reefs.
Citation: Choat, J.H., Sadovy, Y., Craig, M.T., Ferreira, B. & Rocha, L. 2008. Plectropomus maculatus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 April 2014.
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