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Acanthurus maculiceps

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES ACANTHURIDAE

Scientific Name: Acanthurus maculiceps
Species Authority: (Ahl, 1923)
Common Name(s):
English Spotted-face Surgeonfish, Earbar Surgeonfish, Pale-lined Surgeonfish, White-freckled Surgeonfish, Yellow-freckled Surgeonfish
Synonym(s):
Hepatus maculiceps Ahl, 1923

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-05-03
Assessor(s): Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Choat, J.H., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B.
Reviewer(s): Davidson, L., Edgar, G. & Kulbicki, M.
Justification:
Acanthurus maculiceps is widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific region. It is rare in most parts of its range but is reasonably common in some areas (i.e., Christmas Island). It is not specifically targeted in any fishery and is a minor component of the aquarium trade. It is found in a number of marine protected areas in parts of its distribution. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Acanthurus maculiceps is found from the Maldive Islands to the Line Islands and Samoa Islands, northwards to the Ryukyu Islands, Japan and southwards to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Countries:
Native:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia (Ashmore-Cartier Is.); Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Guam; Indonesia; Japan; Kiribati (Gilbert Is., Phoenix Is.); Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Nauru; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Samoa; Solomon Islands; Taiwan, Province of China; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tuvalu; United States Minor Outlying Islands (Howland-Baker Is.); Wallis and Futuna
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Acanthurus maculiceps was recorded as occasional in terms of relative abundance in the northern Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea and in Raja Ampat Indonesia (Allen 2009, 2003b). It was recorded as rare in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea (Allen 2003). It is reasonably common in Christmas Island, Indian Ocean (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010). It is rare in the American Samoa National Park (National Park of Samoa Checklist of Fishes accessed 21 April 2010). It is also rare in Guam (J. McIlwain unpub. data) and in the Philippines (C. Nanola, B. Stockwell and R. Abesamis pers. comm. 2010).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Acanthurus maculiceps is found in outer reef areas from 1 to at least 30 m, either as a solitary individual or in a small group. It is classified as a grazer/detritivore (Choat and Bellwood pers obs. in Green and Bellwood 2009). The sexes are separate among the acanthurids (Reeson 1983). Acanthurids do not display obvious sexual dimorphism, males assume courtship colours (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Acanthurus maculiceps is part of the multi-species surgeonfish fisheries throughout its range. It is rarely collected for the aquarium trade. It is sold online for $69.99-$499.95 (L. Rocha pers. comm. 2010).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known for this species.

Surgeonfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reef while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. The majority of surgeonfishes are exclusively found on coral reef habitat, and of these, approximately 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and degradation of coral reef habitat quality across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of coral reef habitat loss and degradation on these species' populations. Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that recruit into areas with live coral cover, especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas in parts of its range.

Citation: Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Choat, J.H., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Acanthurus maculiceps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 August 2014.
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