Choerodon anchorago 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Choerodon anchorago (Bloch, 1791)
Common Name(s):
English Anchor trunkfish, Anchor tuskfish, Orange-dotted tuskfish, White-belly tuskfish, Yellow-cheek tuskfish
French Maidague défense
Spanish Vieja de colmillos
Chaerodon anchorago (Bloch, 1791)
Chaerodon anchorago (Bloch, 1791)
Choerodon weberi (Ogilby, 1911)
Choerodon weberi (Ogilby, 1911)
Choerops maeander (Cartier, 1874)
Choerops maeander (Cartier, 1874)
Choerops meleagris (Rüppell, 1852)
Choerops meleagris (Rüppell, 1852)
Cossyphus macrodon (Bleeker, 1849)
Cossyphus macrodon (Bleeker, 1849)
Crenilabrus leucozona (Bleeker, 1858)
Crenilabrus leucozona (Bleeker, 1858)
Labrus chlorodus (Gray, 1854)
Labrus chlorodus (Gray, 1854)
Labrus macrodontus (Lacepède, 1801)
Labrus macrodontus (Lacepède, 1801)
Sparus anchorago Bloch, 1791
Sparus anchorago Bloch, 1791

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-06-12
Assessor(s): Shea, S. & Liu, M.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Carpenter, K.E.
This species is widepread in the western Pacific, and is common in much of its range. Although it is fished for food and is collected for the aquarium trade, there is no indication of population decline and no major threats are known. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in the Indo-West Pacific, from Sri Lanka to Tonga, and from Ogasawara and Ryukyu Islands to New Caledonia and northeastern Australia (Myers 1991, Sadovy and Cornish 2000).
Countries occurrence:
Australia; China; India; Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Myanmar; New Caledonia; Niue; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Tonga; Vanuatu
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
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:Total numbers of this species are not known and there is limited information on the current population status of this species. However, this species is common in many parts of its range.

It is moderately abundant in Hong Kong waters and was observed mostly in shallow boulders and coral areas at a depth of at least 10 m (Sadovy and Cornish 2000), but there is no quantitative data on this species in those areas. In Hong Kong, this species is also found in local markets (Situ and Sadovy 2004).

In Solomon Islands, this species is moderately common (Allen 2006).

Unsworth et al. (2007) found that this species is one of the most abundant seagrass fish species in the Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia with a mean density of 17.9 +/- 4.2 individuals per 100 m2 during high tide.

Large populations of C. anchorago have been found in Baraulu, and it is a common fish in the Duduli marine protected area (Aswani et al. undated).

Only 28 individuals of C. anchorago have been recorded in the Kambing Island, East Java, Indonesia (Sumadhiharga 2006).

In New Caledonia, a total of 509 individuals were observed in various UVC surveys with body sizes of 8-12 cm TL (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in seagrass beds and areas of mixed coral, rubble and sand of reef flats, channels and lagoons from depths of one to 25 m.

This species spawns in aggregations. For example, at Palau, it aggregates to spawn along the outer edge of fringing reefs around the new and full moons of January to March (Myers 1991). The planktonic larval duration of C. anchorago was found to be 19.3 +/- 1.8 days in Palau (Victor 1986).

In Hong Kong, this species was found singly, although sometimes small groups were observed, in shallow boulder and coral areas in a depth of at least 10 m (Sadovy and Cornish 2000). In Micronesia, it was observed in rubble or sandy areas, seagrass beds and areas of mixed coral, rubble and sand of reef flats, channels and lagoon at a depth of 25 m (Myers 1991). In Australia, it inhabits reef crests and slopes with algae and soft corals. Juveniles occur inshore and often form small aggregations in seagrass beds where near mangrove or freshwater run-offs (Lieske and Myers 1994, Kuiter 1992, 2000). In the Solomon Islands, this species is moderately common and usually found in slity areas (Allen 2006).

An enlarged canine is present on each side at rear of upper jaw and lateral line continuous smoothly curved with 29 pored scales. This species is distinctive and can be recognized by a large rectangular white saddle situated dorsally on caudal peduncle extending forward below rear of the dorsal fin (Kuiter 2000, Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001, Westneat 2001). The body colour undergoes very little change and does not change much according to size or age (Sadovy and Cornish 2000). Adults are territorial (Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001) and feed primarily on hard-shelled invertebrate prey such as crustaceans, molluscs, crabs , sea urchins (Tedman 1980, Ferry-Graham et al. 2002) and fishes (Bellwood et al. 2006). This species has been observed to use its large teeth to pick up rocks and search for prey beneath (Sadovy and Cornish 2000).

Maximum size of this species is 38 cm SL (Allen 2000, Westneat 2001) and population doubling time is approximately 4.5-14years (Froese and Pauly).
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is marketed mostly fresh and is occasionally found in aquarium trade (Westneat 2001). It is sold for food fish at the live fish markets in Hong Kong (Lee and Sadovy 1998, Situ and Sadovy 2004).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known to this species. However, this species is one of the most common of the genus found in the locally-sourced live food fish trade. For instance, it is taken by hook-and-line, fish traps, monofilament nets or with spears by divers (Ishizuka et al. 1996, Westneat 2001) and turns up sporadically in markets particularly during summer months (Sadovy and Cornish 2000) or being exported for international trade (Ishizuka et al. 1996). However, the levels of fishing pressure and landing fishery data for this species are not known.

Furthermore, it has been reported to form spawning aggregations during the spawning season (Myers 1991), such grouping behaviour might put the species vulnerable to any kind of fishing pressure and increasing the possibility of permanent loss of the population from a particular site since heavily fishing on a specific spawning aggregation could have taken the entire adult population over a very short time period (Sadovy and Domeier 2005). However, the targeted of spawning aggregations of this species has not been reported.

The majority of Choerodon captured by western Australia commercial fishes are reported as “Choerodon spp.” (Penn et al. 2005) which making the catch statistics to be under-representative of the real landings of this species. The commercial landing weight for Choerodon spp. in western Australia is approximately, 28 t each month and in New South Wales, about 69 t of mixed species (wrasse, tuskfish and gropers) were collected commercially in a one year period (NSW Department of Primary Industries 2005).

This species is occasionally taken for the marine aquarium trade (Westneat 2001). It is marketed for export from Queensland, small size is valued at $ AUD 12, and medium and large sizes at $ AUD 16.5 (Ryan and Clarke 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures for this species. However, this species distribution includes several Marine Protected Areas within its range.

This species has been observed in the Ningaloon Marine Park which includes both a sanctuary for no-take and recreation zones for anglers (Westera et al. 2003). Also, it was observed in the Wakatobi Marine Park, Indonesia (Unsworth et al. 2007), Marine protected area of Nha Trang Bay, Vietnam (Dung 2007), Masinloc marine protected areas, the Philippines (IW:LEARN 2008), the Great Barrier Reef, Tung Ping Chau Marine Park and Cape d’ Aguilar (Cornish 2000).

It is worth noting that the marine park doesn’t imply as a no-take zone since limited fishing activity is allowed within certain marine parks, such as Tung Ping Chau Marine Park, Hong Kong. Cage trap or monofilament nets are still allowed within the Tung Ping Chau Marine Park for licensed fishers (AFCD 2007). Furthermore, illegal and destructive fishing activities have been reported in the many Southeast Asian countries (IW:LEARN 2008) due to the poorly managed or legislation is poorly enforced (Chou et al. 2002). Thus, such protected areas might provide insufficient protection to the species.

In Queensland, recreational fishing for reef fish for personal home aquariums is allowed, but currently, there is no information available on the level of recreational harvest of marine aquarium species. Only licensed fishermen are allowed to capture fishes for aquarium trade in Australia and in Queensland, the total number of fishes harvested for the ornamental fish fishery approximately 140,000 in 1991 involving about 150 species, 240,000 in 1995, 140,000 in 1997, 2,108,345 annually (1998-2003) (MCS 2001, Ryan and Clarke 2005).

In Queensland, the minimum legal size for tuskfish (Choerodon spp.) is 30 cm and daily bag limit is five in total for all Choerodon species per angler, in addition, closed season for fishing applies to coral reef finfish (Queensland Government).

Citation: Shea, S. & Liu, M. 2010. Choerodon anchorago. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187578A8573421. . Downloaded on 22 April 2018.
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