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Panulirus femoristriga

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA MALACOSTRACA DECAPODA PALINURIDAE

Scientific Name: Panulirus femoristriga
Species Authority: (Von Martens, 1872)
Common Name(s):
English White-whiskered Coral Crayfish
Synonym(s):
Palinurus femoristriga Von Martens, 1872
Panulirus albiflagellum Chan & Chu, 1996
Panulirus longipes subspecies femoristriga von Martens, 1872
Taxonomic Notes: Although originally classified as Panulirus femoristriga (von Martens, 1872), this species was later included within P. longipes (Milne-Edwards, 1868) as a subspecies, P. l. femoristriga. Recent morphological and allozyme analysis showed that in fact there were two cryptic forms of P. l. femoristriga, and assigned a new species P. albiflagellum Chan & Chu, 1996 to one of them. Later work (Chan and Ng 2001) revealed that P. albiflagellum is conspecific with the holotype of P. femoristriga, and P. l. femoristriga was synonymized with P. longipes bispinosus Borradaile, 1899. Further molecular work supports this distinction based on nucleotide sequence divergence (Ravago and Juinio-Meñez 2002, Chow et al. 2006a).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor(s): Chan, T.Y., Butler, M., Cockcroft, A., MacDiarmid, A. & Wahle, R.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Livingstone, S. & Richman, N.
Contributor(s): Batchelor, A., De Silva, R., Dyer, E., Kasthala, G., Lutz, M.L., McGuinness, S., Milligan, H.T., Soulsby, A.-M. & Whitton, F.
Justification:

Panulirus femoristriga has been assessed as Least Concern. While only having been recently described, it is wide-ranging and it's range is likely to be expanded upon further collections. It is harvested in many parts of its range, but levels of exploitation appear to be low and for local consumption.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs widely in the Indo-West Pacific from the Maldives, Japan, Taiwan, Viet Nam, the Philippines (the eastern and southern coasts), Indonesia (Sulawesi, Irian Jaya), and the Polynesian islands (Chan and Chu 1996, Juinio-Menez and Gotanco 2004). It is thought to also occur in the Solomon Islands, New Hebrides, Wallis and Futuna, and probably off northern Australia (Chan and Chu 1996). Adults were recently recorded off the Galapagos Islands (Isabela) after the 1997/98 El Nino event. These were almost certainly vagrants rather than invasives or introductions (Charles Darwin Foundation and WWF 2002), although there have been sporadic reports each year since then (Hickman and Zimmerman 2000). This species range is likely to be extended upon further directed surveys.
Countries:
Native:
Ecuador (Galápagos - Vagrant); Indonesia (Papua); Japan; Maldives; Philippines; Taiwan, Province of China (Taiwan, Province of China (main island)); Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is "caught throughout its range, but apparently nowhere abundant" according to Chan (1998), although Ravago and Juinio-Meñez (2002) describe it as "relatively abundant" in the eastern Philippines, off Samar. It is rare in fish markets in Taiwan, and in Hong Kong is imported, often from Indonesia (Chan and Chu 1996). It is also very rare off mainland Japan (Honshu Island) (Chan and Chu 1996).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in shallow rocky and coral reef areas to about 20 m in depth (Chan and Chu 1996).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested for food throughout much of its range.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is caught throughout its range, but separate statistics are unavailable because of taxonomic issues and former confusion with P. longipes (Chan 1998).

In the Phillippines this species is caught in mixed catches with two subspecies of Panulirus longipes (P. l. longipes and P. l. bispinosus) with which its range overlaps, making up 26% of the catch in Guiuan, eastern Samar (Ravago and Juinio-Meñez 2002).

In the Bonin Islands (southeast of mainland Japan) this and other species of spiny lobster are caught using baited cages set on the rocky sea floor (Nishikori and Sekiguchi 2001).

In the Maldives this is one of five Panulirus spp. exploited for the local tourist market. Catches appear to be levelling off; however, lobsters are increasing in value suggesting that reduced abundance is driving prices up (Adam 2006). Catch statistics for all species are reported below (in numbers landed):

1995 - 23,000; 1996 - 37,523; 1997 - 37,543; 1998 - 29,375; 1999 - 24,183; 2000 - 23,483; 2001 - 43,172; 2002 - 59,980; 2003 - 48,120; 2004 - 41,644.

Over the same period the unit value (Rupees / lobster) has increased from 66.3 in 1995 to 112.25 in 2003 (Adam 2006).

In the Galapagos this is one of four lobsters fished by SCUBA divers. Catch per unit effort (CPUE, in kg diver day-1) data was relatively constant from 1997 to 2001 (Guime 2003):

1997 - 6.7; 1998 - 5.8; 1999 - 7.0; 2000 - 9.5; 2001 - 7.0

The recent taxonomic split, and uncertainty of which species is which, means that former literature on this species is unreliable.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In the Maldives management measures in the spiny lobster fishery include: an export ban (harvest is for local consumption only); minimum size restrictions; and a ban on harvesting berried (egg-bearing) females under 25 cm total length. Monitoring and enforcement of these measures is often weak (Adam 2006).

Since the revision of this species' taxonomy there is uncertainty about the distributions and exploitation levels of this and two other similar cryptic species (P. longipes longipes and P. longipes bispinosus) (Chan and Ng 2001, Juinio-Menez and Gotanco 2004).

Citation: Chan, T.Y., Butler, M., Cockcroft, A., MacDiarmid, A. & Wahle, R. 2013. Panulirus femoristriga. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 July 2014.
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