Chaetodon melapterus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Chaetodontidae

Scientific Name: Chaetodon melapterus Guichenot, 1863
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Arabian Butterflyfish, Blackfin Butterflyfish, Black-finned Melon Butterflyfish
Chaetodon melanopterus Playfair, 1867
Chaetodon trifasciatus ssp. arabica Steindachner, 1899
Choetodon melapterus Guichenot, 1863
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: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-07
Assessor(s): Pyle, R., Rocha, L.A., Craig, M.T. & Pratchett, M.
Reviewer(s): Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.

While there have been no declines documented, this species feeds predominantly on live coral cover and is likely to be susceptible to extensive coral loss. It is restricted to the Arabian Gulf, but there are no obvious major threats other than coral loss. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to the Arabian Gulf, southern Arabian Peninsula (Gulf of Oman to Gulf of Aden), and southern Red Sea (Allen et al. 1998). Randall (1994) showed that the alleged type locality of RĂ©union is probably an error. It is found at depths between 2-16 m.
Countries occurrence:
Bahrain; Djibouti; Eritrea; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Oman; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Somalia; Sudan; United Arab Emirates; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):16
Upper depth limit (metres):2
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is generally common with stable populations (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is usually found in coastal reefs rich in coral growth interspersed with sand patches (Allen 1980). Animals are usually encountered in pairs, but sometimes observed in larger aggregations numbering in excess of 20 individuals (Allen 1980). It feeds predominantly on live corals.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is sometimes collected for the aquarium trade (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). It is a coral feeder and not considered suitable for aquarium life (Allen 1980).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species feeds predominantly on live coral, and may therefore decline in abundance following climate-induced coral depletion (Pratchett et al. 2008). Currently there has been no documented declines in its abundance, 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 likely 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: Pyle, R., Rocha, L.A., Craig, M.T. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Chaetodon melapterus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165724A6102242. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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