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Chaetodon melannotus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES CHAETODONTIDAE

Scientific Name: Chaetodon melannotus
Species Authority: Bloch & Schneider, 1801
Common Name(s):
English Black-back Butterflyfish, Blackback Butterflyfish, Blackback Butterflyfish, Black-backed butterflyfish, Blackbacked Butterflyfish, Black-backed Coralfish
French Chétodon à dos noir, Papillon à dos noir, Pavillon à dos noir
Synonym(s):
Chaetodon abhortani Cuvier, 1831
Chaetodon dorsalis Rüppell, 1829
Chaetodon marginatus Cuvier, 1831
Chaetodon melanotus Bloch & Schneider, 1801
Chaetodon melanotus Cuvier, 1831
Chaetodon reinwardti Günther, 1860
Tetragonoptrus dorsalis (Rüppell, 1829)
Tetragonoptrus melanotus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-08
Assessor(s): Myers, R. & Pratchett, M.
Reviewer(s): Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.
Justification:
There have been declines documented in some areas due to coral bleaching events, however these are not believed to have substantially affected the global population. In addition, this species has a wide distribution, large population and no apparent major threats other than coral loss. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs throughout the Indo-west Pacific, from the Red Sea through the Indian Ocean to Samoa. Northern limit of range is southern Japan, to south New South Wales and Lord Howe Island (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). Found at depths ranging from 1-25 m.

Range size ~60.3 million km2, from values estimated by Jones et al. (2002) based on projection of distribution maps from Allen et al. (1998).

Countries:
Native:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cambodia; China; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; French Southern Territories (Mozambique Channel Is.); Guam; Hong Kong; India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Indonesia; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati (Phoenix Is.); Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Norfolk Island; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is a generally common species. However, this species declined substantially (90% decline) following extensive coral loss in the central Great Barrier Reef in 2001 (Pratchett et al. 2006) and the population has shown no evidence of recovery (Pratchett et al. 2009). Declines in other parts of its range are unknown.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits coral-rich areas of lagoons, seaward reefs, and reef flats. Occurs as individuals or in pairs, but noted to form aggregations, possibly to mass-spawn (Pratchett et al. 2006). It is an obligate corallivore, but feeds on both hard and soft corals (e.g., Pratchett 2005). It recruits to shallow coral reef habitats with rich coral growth, settling among branching Montipora.
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is frequently exported through the aquarium trade (Pyle 2001). Approximately 25,000 individuals were traded between 1988-2002 (Global Marine Aquarium Database 2009).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Relies on live coral for food and recruitment, and has declined significantly following climate-induced coral depletion on the Great Barrier Reef (Pratchett et al. 2006). However coral bleaching and coral loss has been patchy throughout the Indian and Pacific Ocean, and localized declines due to coral loss have not substantially affected the global population. There are no apparent major threats other than coral loss.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There appear to be no species-specific conservation measures in place. This species is present within marine protected areas. Data is required to establish effects of extensive aquarium collecting for this species. Monitoring of this species is needed in conjunction with coral monitoring.

Citation: Myers, R. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Chaetodon melannotus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 December 2014.
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