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Chaetodon unimaculatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES CHAETODONTIDAE

Scientific Name: Chaetodon unimaculatus
Species Authority: Bloch, 1787
Common Name(s):
English Limespot Butterflyfish, One-spot Butterfly, Onespot Butterflyfish, Teardrop Butterflyfish, Teardrop Butterflyfish, Teardrop Butterfly Fish, Teardrop Coralfish
French Chétodon ocellé
Synonym(s):
Chaetodon sphenospilus Jenkins, 1901
Taxonomic Notes: Indian Ocean records west of Coco-Keeling, Christmas Island and Java are based on the sister species Chaetodon interruptus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-09
Assessor(s): Myers, R. & Pratchett, M.
Reviewer(s): Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.
Justification:
This species is an obligate corallivore, but has not declined in areas where there has been coral loss. It has a wide distribution, large population and no apparent major threats other than coral loss. Listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs from Christmas Island (Australia) and Cocos-Keeling Islands (Australia) in the Indian Ocean, across the tropical Pacific (Pyle 2001), to Polynesia including the Hawaiian Islands (USA) and Easter Island, north to southern Japan and south to central New South Wales, Lord Howe Island (Australia) and Rapa Iti Island.Vagrants occur in the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador). It is found at depths of up to 60 m. Range size ~59.1 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; Cambodia; Chile (Easter Is.); China; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Cook Islands; Ecuador (Galápagos); Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; Indonesia; Japan; Kiribati (Phoenix Is.); Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn; Samoa; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States (Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands (Howland-Baker Is., Johnston I.); Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southeast; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is generally common (e.g, mean of 0.4 individuals per 200 m2 in northern Great Barrier Reef;  Pratchett and Berumen 2008). There have not been any reported declines in abundance, even in areas with substantial coral loss (Berumen and Pratchett 2006).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in small groups in coral reef flats, clear lagoons and seaward reefs. Particularly abundant where soft leather corals (Sarcophyton and Sinularia spp.) occur. Occurs in pairs and small aggregations. It feeds on soft and hard corals, and also on polychaetes, small crustaceans, and filamentous algae. This species is oviparous and forms pairs during breeding (Breder and Rosen 1966). It is an obligate corallivore. While it feeds predominantly on soft corals in the western Pacific (Pratchett 2005), it feeds entiely on hard corals in Moorea, French Polynesia (M.S. Pratchett pers. obs.).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is frequently exported through the aquarium trade (Pyle 2001). It is also harvested by artisanal fisheries.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is no data on the effects of harvesting for this species, but it is unlikely that aquarium collectors and artisanal fisheries have substantially affected the global population. This species relies on live coral for food and/or recruitment, and may therefore decline in abundance following climate-induced coral depletion (Pratchett et al. 2008). Currently there has been no documented declines associated with coral loss, and there appear to be no other major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There appear to be no species-specific conservation measures in place. This species is present within marine protected areas. Monitoring of this species is needed in conjunction with coral monitoring, as well as determination of the degree of co-dependence between this species and corals.

Citation: Myers, R. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Chaetodon unimaculatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 September 2014.
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