Coryphopterus lipernes 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Gobiidae

Scientific Name: Coryphopterus lipernes Böhlke & Robins, 1962
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Peppermint Goby, Bluenose Goby
Spanish Góbido crystal, Gobio linterna

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A3ce ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2011-03-22
Assessor(s): Pezold, F., van Tassell, J., Aiken, K.A., Tornabene, L. & Bouchereau, J.-L.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A.
Contributor(s): Brenner, J., Williams, J., Camarena-Luhrs, T. & Robertson, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Barthelat, F., Elfes, C. & Ralph, G.
This widely distributed species is not common. It is dependent on live coral habitat and specifically prefers massive coral heads. Its AOO is estimated at 11,151 km2. A more accurate picture of its AOO would be realized if the area cover of only the massive corals was known. Coral reef habitat has declined by 59% over the past 41 years. Its generation length is short and three generations is inferred as no more than 10 years. It is susceptible to predation by the invasive lionfish, which now occurs throughout the entire range of this species. An overall 65% decline in prey biomass was directly observed over a period of two years in the Bahamas. However, species-specific declines are not available at this time. Based on this information, a suspected population decline of >30% is projected to occur over the next ten years due to predation by the invasive lionfish. Therefore, it is listed as VU A3ce. We recommend improved monitoring on the effects of habitat degradation and predation by the invasive lionfish.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Coryphopterus lipernes is distributed in the western Atlantic from the Bahamas, in the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida Keys and northwestern Cuba, and throughout the Caribbean Sea (Robins and Ray 1986, Smith 1997, R. Robertson and P. Chevalier pers. comm. 2014). It has an estimated area of occupancy (AOO) of 11,151 km(calculated by clipping the distribution polygon to the coral reef layer from WCMC 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Saba, Sint Eustatius); Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Martinique; Mexico; Montserrat; Nicaragua; Panama; Puerto Rico; Saint Barthélemy; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:11151Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Lower depth limit (metres):60
Upper depth limit (metres):10
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Collections and observations indicate that Coryphopterus lipernes is widespread in the Caribbean and Bahamas, but does not occur abundantly (Böhlke and Robins 1977). Sampling at euphotic and mesophotic depths (15-50 m) in Puerto-Rico revealed this species to be the thirteenth most abundant species, with peak abundances at 25 m (Garcia-Sais 2010).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits coral reefs in fairly deep water. It can be found in spur and groove and drop-off habitats (Greenfield and Johnson 1999). It remains in relatively continuous close physical contact with live corals. Individuals observed at night and during the day spend most of the time resting on live corals, with only a few brief forays onto nearby algal mats, or off the coral to feed (Böhlke and Robins 1977). Most photographs of C. lipernes available show it perched on live massive coral, which may indicate that this species is dependent on live massive coral to some degree (R. Robertson pers. comm. 2014). It is usually solitary, but sometimes swims close to the reef in small groups. It is diurnally active. Fishes of this genus are sequential protogynous hermaphrodites (Cole and Shapiro 1990; Thacker and Cole 2002). The maximum recorded length is 3 cm (Robins and Ray). Proxy life history data based on a study of Coryphopterus kuna: Larvae settle around 7-9 mm SL, adults mature at 10–11 mm SL and then only attain about 17 mm SL. It has a 60-day pelagic larval life and matures rapidly. They are sexually active in as few as three weeks and live for about two months after settlement. This is the first reported fish in which the pelagic larval duration is generally longer than the post-settlement lifespan, which indicates that C. kuna may represent the extreme of a bipartite life-history strategy: a relatively slow-growing pelagic larval stage, often with delayed metamorphosis, in combination with a rapidly maturing, high-mortality adult stage (Victor et al. 2010). Based on this information, it is inferred that three generation lengths are almost certainly no more than ten years.
Generation Length (years):1

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Coryphopterus lipernes is found in the aquarium trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is likely dependent on live coral to some degree as it is typically found resting on live coral. Thus, C. lipernes may be adversely impacted by decreases in live coral cover. Between 1970-2011 (41 years), an overall 59% decline in coral cover has been directly observed in the Caribbean (Jackson et al. 2014). Coryphopterus spp. are highly predated upon by lionfish, however, it is not yet known how this threat is specifically impacting the overall population of this species. This species is easily targeted by the lionfish given its small, shallow body and demersal habits (Green and Cote 2014). Due to the lionfish's ability to consume a variety of fishes smaller than 15 cm, both adults and juveniles of this species are likely consumed. In the Bahamas, a 65% decline in lionfish prey biomass over a period of two years was observed (Green et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place. Half of its range in the Gulf of Mexico is contained entirely within the Florida Keys National Sanctuary, however, conservation measures have not been successful towards stopping coral reef decline (Toth et al. 2014).

Citation: Pezold, F., van Tassell, J., Aiken, K.A., Tornabene, L. & Bouchereau, J.-L. 2015. Coryphopterus lipernes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T185958A1794593. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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