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Mulloidichthys dentatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES MULLIDAE

Scientific Name: Mulloidichthys dentatus
Species Authority: (Gill, 1862)
Common Name(s):
English Goatfish, Mexican Goatfish
Spanish Chivo Amarillo, Chivo Barbon, San Pedro Rojo
Synonym(s):
Upeneus dentatus Gill, 1862
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.
Justification:
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:
Native:
Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador (Ecuador (mainland), Galápagos); El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico (Revillagigedo Is.); Nicaragua; Panama; Peru
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – southeast
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.
Population Trend: Stable

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).
Systems: Marine

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).

Citation: Allen, G.R., Robertson, R.D., Edgar, G., Rivera, F., Zapata, F., Merlen, G. & Barraza, E. 2010. Mulloidichthys dentatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 August 2014.
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