Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Halichoeres socialis
Species Authority: Randall & Lobel, 2003
Common Name(s):
English Social Wrasse
Taxonomic Notes: This species was recently described and all evidence indicates that it is endemic to the Pelican Keys in Belize (Randall and Lobel 2003).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-04-12
Assessor(s): Rocha, L., Choat, H. & Craig, M.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Carpenter, K.E.
This species is restricted to a single location (Pelican Caye World Heritage Site, Belize) and has an estimated extent of occurance of less than 10 km2. This shallow water species is dependent on a unique combination of coral and mangrove habitat, especially for juveniles. Significant habitat loss is occuring due to mangrove and coral removal for extensive coastal development within its very restricted range. It is listed as Critically Endangered. More research is urgently needed on this species' population status.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is only found in the Pelican Keys, Belize and has an estimated extent of occurrence of less than 10 km2.
Countries occurrence:
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central
Lower depth limit (metres): 10
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Currently, population size and trends have not been assessed. From the original description, it may seem that the population numbers are high, as juveniles are abundant where they occur. However, adult individuals are rarely observed.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Adults are reef associated, and juveniles are mangrove and shallow reef dependent. It is found in shallow coral reefs over coral, sand, rubble or seagrass substrata (Randall and Lobel 2003) to depths of 10 m. Juveniles feed on zooplankton and form evasive, compact schools when threatened (Randall and Lobel 2003). Estimated larval life of two to three weeks, however, it may not be able to disperse outside known area given the possible lack of suitable habitat.

Life history traits (longevity and age of maturity) are based on similar species in this genus of similar size.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by extensive habitat destruction within and around this species' very restricted range within the Pelican Caye World Heritage Site. Habitat loss is due to continued extensive mangrove and coral removal and dredging for coastal and resort development at least since 2003.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Pelican Caye is a World Heritage Site but there is no actual protection. Given this species very small range and extensive habitat loss, it should be carefully monitored and effective conservation measures and outreach are needed.

Citation: Rocha, L., Choat, H. & Craig, M. 2010. Halichoeres socialis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187435A8534662. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided