Acanthemblemaria castroi 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Chaenopsidae

Scientific Name: Acanthemblemaria castroi
Species Authority: Stephens & Hobson, 1966
Common Name(s):
English Galápagos Barnacle Blenny
Spanish Trambollito Percebes de Galápagos
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2014. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 27 August 2014. Available at: (Accessed: 27 August 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-05-25
Assessor(s): Bessudo, S., Dominici-Arosemena, A., Espinosa, H. & Hastings, P.
Reviewer(s): Carpenter, K., Polidoro, B. & Livingstone, S. (Global Marine Species Assessment Team)
This species is known from only one location (Galápagos Islands).This species has experienced major fluctuations in population numbers following El Niño events. Regional experts support the plausible threat of the increased duration and frequency of ENSO events that can cause severe and rapid declines for restricted-range, shallow-water species in this region of the Eastern Tropical Pacific. It is listed as Vulnerable under Criterion D2.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, and is only found in the Galápagos Islands.
Countries occurrence:
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – southeast
Number of Locations: 1
Lower depth limit (metres): 25
Upper depth limit (metres): 1
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species was known to be very abundant until the 1997/1998 El Niño event, afterwhich the species could not be found. The species reappeared a few years later, and there is other anecdotal evidence of previous population fluctuations. A recent survey found an overall mean abundance for the species of 1.41 individuals per 500 m² on Galápagos Island (Edgar et al. 2004).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This reef-associated species inhabits empty barnacle shells on rocky reefs to depths of 25 m. It often perches in the opening with only the head protruding, and darts out to nab bits of floating food (Humann and Deloach 1993). It is oviparous, with eggs attached to the walls of the parent's shelter and brooded by the male parent (Matarese et al. 1984).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has a restricted distribution and shallow water habitat, and is subject to extreme fluctuations in population numbers following El Niño events (Groves, 1985). In the Eastern Tropical Pacific, severe localized fish species declines have occurred after strong ENSO events that result in shallow waters that are too warm and nutrient poor for extended periods of time (Grove 1985, Edgar et al. 2009). The frequency and duration of ENSO events in this region of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (e.g. the up-welling zone off the coast of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and the offshore islands) appears to be increasing (Glynn and Ault 2000, Soto 2001, Chen et al. 2004). Given this species' restricted distribution and shallow water habitat, oceanographic environmental changes, such as those associated with future ENSO events, may have detrimental effects on the survival of this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Galápagos Islands are protected as a National Park, and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WDPA 2006). This species requires close population monitoring given its very restricted range, and past history of El Niño associated declines.

Citation: Bessudo, S., Dominici-Arosemena, A., Espinosa, H. & Hastings, P. 2010. Acanthemblemaria castroi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T183873A8192573. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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