Mulloidichthys dentatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Mullidae

Scientific Name: Mulloidichthys dentatus (Gill, 1862)
Common Name(s):
English Mexican Goatfish, Goatfish
Spanish Chivo Amarillo, Chivo Barbon, San Pedro Rojo
Upeneus dentatus Gill, 1862
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2014. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 4 December 2014. Available at: (Accessed: 4 December 2014).
Taxonomic Notes: Mulloidichthys dentatus is closely related to M. martinicus of the western Atlantic and M. vanicolensis, an Indo-Pacific species that also occurs in the region.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-05-24
Assessor(s): Allen, G.R., Robertson, R.D., Edgar, G., Rivera, F., Zapata, F., Merlen, G. & Barraza, E.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Richman, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M.
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J. & Livingston, F.
Mulloidichthys dentatus has been assessed as Least Concern.  This species is widespread in the eastern Pacific region and common throughout its range.  There are no known major threats to this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Mulloidichthys dentatus is endemic to the eastern Pacific, and is found from southern Baja and the Gulf of California, to Peru, including around all the offshore islands.  However, its distribution is somewhat uncertain due to morphological similarity to M. vanicolensis, and lack of awareness of that species in the region until recently.  Regardless, genetic studies at Baja and Clipperton indicate that M. dentatus is likely the most abundant of the two species in the eastern tropical Pacific.
Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador (Ecuador (mainland), Galápagos); El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico (Revillagigedo Is.); Nicaragua; Panama; Peru
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – southeast; Pacific – eastern central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):60
Upper depth limit (metres):2
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Mulloidichthys dentatus is common throughout its range.  It was studied in different sites in the Galapagos Archipelago, where it was found to have an overall mean abundance of 5.75 individuals per 500 m2 (Edgar et al. 2004).  However, this fish was not found in surveys in Costa Rica in the Gulf of Papagayo (Dominici-Arosemena et al. 2005), Gulf Dulce (Figueroa 2001) or Catalinas Island (Espinoza and Salas 2005).

According to Aburto-Oropeza and Balart (2001), M. dentatus is a frequent and abundant species at Los Islotes in the Gulf of California, with an occurrence frequency of 30–70%.  In Cabo Pulmo, Mexico, this fish was considered scarce, with a relative abundance of 0.1–1%, and a relative frequency of 25–50% (Villarreal-Cavazos et al. 2000).  In Bahía de Navidad, Jalisco, México, this fish was captured 9 times within 12 one-month long field trips throughout a year (Rojo-Vázquez et al. 2001).  A survey at Gorgona Island coral reefs, Colombia (Rubio 1986), showed that this fish seems to be abundant in coralline bottoms and frequent in rocky and sandy substrata.  Zapata and Morales (1997) recorded a density of 1.255 +/- 7.516 individuals per 10 m2, with an observational frequency of 20.6% at Gorgona Island.  According to Robertson and Allen (1996), this fish was commonly seen or collected, and apparently abundant enough to have a resident sub-population at Clipperton Atoll.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Mulloidichthys dentatus is a reef-associated species, inhabiting sand, mud, and rock substrata to depths of 60 m (Schneider 1995).  This species can be occasionally found in estuaries and coastal lagoons along the tropical eastern Pacific coast (Cooke 1992).  At the Gulf of Chiriqui, this fish could be found in the deep zone over middle size rocks and sand, deep rocky walls, zones of massive corals, and deep rocky reef (Dominici-Arosemena and Wolff 2006).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known major threats impacting Mulloidichthys dentatus.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Mulloidichthys dentatus.  However, it is present in some marine protected areas in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico (Roca et al. 2003, WDPA 2006).

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Citation: Allen, G.R., Robertson, R.D., Edgar, G., Rivera, F., Zapata, F., Merlen, G. & Barraza, E. 2010. Mulloidichthys dentatus. (errata version published in 2017) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T155245A115291266. . Downloaded on 17 October 2017.
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