Spondyliosoma emarginatum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Sparidae

Scientific Name: Spondyliosoma emarginatum (Valenciennes, 1830)
Common Name(s):
English Steentjie, Steentje Seabream, Steentjie Seabream
French Dorade Australe
Spanish Chopa Austral
Cantharus emarginatum Valenciennes, 1830
Cantharus microlepis Gilchrist & Thompson, 1909

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2009-12-02
Assessor(s): Mann, B.Q., Buxton, C.D., Russell, B., Pollard, D. & Carpenter, K.E.
Reviewer(s): Attwood, C.
Contributor(s): Gorman, C. & Comeros-Raynal, M.
Spondyliosoma emarginatum is a common and abundant species that is primarily used for bait or retained in the absence of more profitable species. It is likely that this species is under-exploited and no major threats have been identified. Spondyliosoma emarginatum is protected in marine protected areas within its range. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Spondyliosoma emarginatum is endemic to South Africa and is known from Saldanha Bay to Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (Heemstra and Heemstra 2004). There is a questionable record off southern Madagascar (Fischer and Bianchi 1984). The depth range for this species is one to 50 m depth (van der Elst and Adkin 1991, Fairhurst et al. 2007).
Countries occurrence:
South Africa
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):50
Upper depth limit (metres):1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No stock assessment has been conducted on this species. CPUE trends cannot be detected as this species is relatively unimportant in the linefishery and the CPUE data are unreliable (Tunley and Attwood 2012). Generally sex ratios are skewed towards more females in exploited areas compared to the no-take reserve in Langebaan (Tunley et al. 2009).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Spondyliosoma emarginatum adults occur on shallow, subtidal reefs down to 50 m depth with an isolated population in Langebaan Lagoon that frequents channels with sandy bottoms in less than 10 m depth (Fairhurst et al. 2007). Juveniles are found on shallow, subtidal reefs and very seldom enter estuaries (van Bruggen 1965; Beckley 1983, 1984; Whitfield et al. 1989). Adults of this species are omnivorous and feed on algae and small crustaceans while juveniles feed on zooplankton but become omnivorous (Fairhurst et al. 2007, Whitfield 1985). The nest building behaviour and benthic eggs suggest territorial and resident behaviour (Tunley et al. 2009). The maximum length recorded for this species is 35.4 cm TL, maximum weight is 1,100 g, and the maximum recorded age is eleven years (C. Attwood UCT unpublished data, Tunley et al. 2009). 


Spondyliosoma emarginatum is a protogynous hermaphrodite that spawns from July to October in the Western Cape (Fairhurst et al. 2007). This species builds a nest for its benthic eggs and then guards the nest (van Bruggen 1965). The length at 50% maturity is about 23.5 cm FL for females and 24.9 cm FL for males. The age at 50% maturity for females is about three years (Fairhurst et al. 2007). 


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Spondyliosoma emarginatum is generally too small to market and not a preferred species; however, linefishers will keep individuals of this species for personal consumption, bait, or in the absence of more profitable species (Tunley and Attwood 2012). Spondyliosoma emarginatum comprises a small component of recreational and commercial skiboat catches in the Southeastern Cape and Southwestern Cape. Primarily used as bait but increasingly being used for food as other larger species become depleted (Aitken et al. 2000). It is seldom taken by shore anglers but is occasionally taken in beach seine nets in the Southwestern Cape (Lamberth et al. 1994).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Currently, no major threats have been identified for Spondyliosoma emarginatum.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species specific conservation efforts in place for Spondyliosoma emarginatum but it is included in the daily bag limit for recreational and subsistence fishers of ten fish per person per day and is unlimited for commercial fishers (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 2012). This species is effectively protected in a number of no-take MPAs over its entire distributional range including the Langebaan, De Hoop Marine Reserve, Goukamma, Tsitsikamma National Park, Sardinia Bay Reserve, Bird Island, Dwesa Cwebe and Pondoland (B. Mann and C. Buxton pers. comm. 2009).

Citation: Mann, B.Q., Buxton, C.D., Russell, B., Pollard, D. & Carpenter, K.E. 2014. Spondyliosoma emarginatum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T170172A1287155. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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