Ogilbichthys puertoricoensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Ophidiiformes Bythitidae

Scientific Name: Ogilbichthys puertoricoensis Møller, Schwarzhans & Nielsen, 2004
Common Name(s):
English Puerto Rico Coralbrotula
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. and Fricke, R. (eds). 2015. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 1 October 2015. Available at: (Accessed: 1 October 2015).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2013-01-29
Assessor(s): Robins, R.H.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Linardich, C.
This small, cryptic fish is only known from two widely-spaced localities and very few specimens. It hides in shallow, rocky reefs over sand and caves. Species-specific data on its distribution, population, life history, and reproductive data are limited in part due to the difficulty in sampling for cryptic fishes. Its estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 123 km², which meets the threshold for Endangered under criterion B2. It may be threatened by coral reef decline, however, little in general is known on this species, therefore it is assessed as Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Ogilbichthys puertoricoensis has been recorded in the Caribbean Sea from Mona Island (Puerto Rico) and Providence Island (Colombia). Its depth range is 0-1 m (Moller et al. 2004, Garrido-Linares and Acero 2006, R. Robertson pers. comm. 2013). Due to its cryptic nature and consequent sampling difficulty of this fish, a complete picture of its distribution may not yet be realized (Smith-Vaniz et al. 2006). Its estimated AOO is 123 km² (calculated by clipping the distribution polygon to the coral reef layer from WCMC 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Puerto Rico
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:123
Lower depth limit (metres):1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Due to the cryptic nature of O. puertoricoensis, its presence is underestimated in routine visual reef fish surveys conducted by divers and is normally only collected via rotenone sampling, therefore, population data are limited (Ackerman and Bellwood 2000, Smith-Vaniz et al. 2006). A single specimen was used in the original description of O. puertoricoensis (Moller et al. 2004). Species within the genera Ogilbia and Ogilbichthys are easily confused due to very similar morphologies and sympatric occurrences, therefore, extra care should be taken to determine an accurate identification (Moller et al. 2004, Moller et al. 2005).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Ogilbichthys puertoricoensis is a viviparous, shallow-water species with a maximum size of 3.4 cm standard length (SL) that hides in rocky reefs over sand and caves (Moller et al. 2004, Dennis et al. 2005, Garrido-Linares and Acero 2006). This small, cryptic species likely exhibits high site fidelity where it hides in crevices, exhibits negative behaviour towards light, and is assumed to be more active at night (Crozier 1921, Suarez 1975, Smith-Vaniz et al. 2006). Due to its cryptic nature, this species is normally only collected via rotenone sampling, therefore, knowledge of its behaviours and feeding habits are limited (Smith-Vaniz et al. 2006). However, there is evidence that these small fishes may play a larger role in reef processes and assemblages due to their potential as prey items and contributions to energetics (Ackerman and Bellwood 2000, Moller and Schwarzhans 2008).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Ogilbichthys puertoricoensis is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Coral reef health directly effects not only those fishes that are readily observable, but also those that are cryptic crevice dwellers such as this species. Unfortunately, data on these species, which include the reef-dwelling bythitids, are relatively limited. Between 1970-2011 (41 years), an overall 59% decline in coral cover was directly observed in the Caribbean, which was caused by anthropogenic stressors, Diadema antillarum decline, and coral disease (Jackson et al. 2014). We do not know how this species responds to these stressors or if it survives well on disturbed coral reefs. This species may be threatened by the invasive Indo-Pacific Lionfishes, Pterois spp. Lionfish consume a variety of prey items at a high rate of efficiency, including fish and invertebrates (Morris and Akins 2009, Albins and Hixon 2008). Given the diet of these Lionfishes, small species such as this could be included as prey items for this predator. At present, there is no direct evidence that Lionfish are a major threat to this species and no Bythitidae spp. have been recorded in the diet to date.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this fish.

Citation: Robins, R.H. 2015. Ogilbichthys puertoricoensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T16501736A16509647. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided