Epibulus insidiator 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Epibulus insidiator (Pallas, 1770)
Common Name(s):
English Sling-jaw, Sling-jaw wrasse, Telescopefish
French Canard, Épibule gourami, Épibule trompeur, Labre traître
Spanish Vieja guramí
Epibulis insidiator (Pallas, 1770)
Epibulis insidiator (Pallas, 1770)
Sparus insidiator Pallas, 1770
Sparus insidiator Pallas, 1770
Taxonomic Notes: The latent slingjaw wrasse, Epibulus brevis, was recently described from Palau, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia (Carlson et al. 2008). E. brevis is extremely similar to E. insidiator and any past record and data of E. insidiator likely includes the former species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-07-12
Assessor(s): To, A., Liu, M., Craig, M. & Rocha, L.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Carpenter, K.E.
This species is widespread and is common in many parts of its range. It is subjected to relatively small-scale fisheries, both as food fish and as ornamental fish. Catch data of this species is absent except for incomplete aquarium trade volume in several years. Although this species is unlikely to be seriously threatened at the current time, more information on the biology and harvest level of this species is needed for a more comprehensive status assessment. There are no major threats to this species. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in the Indo-Pacific and occurs from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Hawaiian and Tuamoto Islands, north to southern Japan, and south to New Caledonia.

Records from the main Hawaiian islands are based on single individuals recorded in O'ahu and Lanai and are considered waifs (Randall 2007). In this region, reproducing populations are known only in Johnston Atoll and the central part of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
Countries occurrence:
American Samoa; Australia; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cambodia; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Cook Islands; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; India; Indonesia; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):42
Upper depth limit (metres):1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is common in many parts of its range.

This species was described as common in northwest Madagascar (McKenna and Allen 2005) and Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands (Colin and Bell 1991).

In Fiji, a total of 230 individuals were counted in various UVC surveys with body sizes of 4-30 cm TL (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008).

In New Caledonia, a total of 524 individuals were counted in various UVC surveys with body sizes of 6-40 cm TL. In 15 stations, a total of 29 individuals were caught with total body weight of 2,127 g (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008).

In French-Polynesia, a total of 210 individuals were counted in various UVC surveys with body sizes of 3-33 cm TL (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008).

In Tonga, a total of 130 individuals were counted in various UVC surveys with body sizes of 6-35 cm TL (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008).

On the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, an estimated mean density of 4.3 individuals from twenty 50 m X 5 m transects was recorded in underwater fish visual surveys (Yusuf et al. 2002).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits lagoon and seaward reef down to 42 m (Lieske and Myers 1994). This species was suspected to be a protogynous hermaphrodite (Carlson et al. 2008).

Epibulus insidiator male colour was observed to intensify during courtship (Colin and Bell 1991). Males swam with caudal fin collapsed and tilted up and the anal fin folded and extended down. Males can revert to normal colour pattern when disturbed. The territory sizes of males were approximately 500-1,000 m2 and females seemed to have home ranges within this territory. Spawning occurred after or near high tide. It is sexually dimorphic with the size of male larger than the female. This species spawned in harem with males patrolling territory. Spawning ascent distance was about two to three m. Females were reported to lead the spawning. Spawning activities were found in March, April, May, July, September and October. The shape of the eggs is almost spherical.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is collected for food and for the aquarium trade. The average body size in Guam caught in fisheries in last 20 years was stable and averaged 25 cm (R. Myers pers. comm. 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known for this species, although it is collected for food fish fisheries, and was reported in the Hong Kong fish market (Situ andSadovy 2004). This species is also collected for the aquarium trade and such trade may have significant effect on fish natural population (Tissot and Hallacher 2003), however the level of use in ornamental fish or food trade is unknown.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures for this species. However, this species distribution includes a number of Marine Protected Areas within its range. More species-specific information on harvest and trade for is needed for this species.

In Madagascar
This species was reported from the Natural Reserve of the Glorieuses Islands (Durville et al. 2003). Labrids are not major catches in the reef fishes surrounding the south-west Madagascar in 1997 (Laroche et al. 1997), and catch-per-unit-effort is still relatively high in these fishing grounds. There are two marine protected areas, with no-take zones, located in the northwest region of Madagascar (McKenna and Allen 2005). This species was commonly sighted during a rapid biodiversity survey in northwest Madagascar, and is likely protected within the protected areas (McKenna and Allen 2005).

In Mozambique
There is no known fishery management or regulations on this species in Mozambique. There is a 22 km2 marine reserve, two national parks and one wildlife sanctuary where coastal waters are protected (Francis et al. 2002, Wells et al. 2007). A fish survey in 2000 at various locations including marine protected areas did not record this species (Motta et al. 2002). The occurrence of this species within these areas needs further investigation.

In Australia
Marine parks are established within Queensland including the well-know Great Barrier Reef. Marine parks are zoned for different purposes and offer different levels of protection from recreational and commercial fishing activities (Environmental Protection Agency 2008). For fishery management, a minimum size of 25 cm TL and a bag limit of 5 fish apply to all wrasses (Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries 2008a). There are three, nine-day closure to the taking of all coral reef fishes in Queensland east coast waters, which are in October, November and December each year around the new moon phase (Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries 2008b). There is no specific management measure or regulation on this species in commercial food fish fishery.

This species is collected as part of the international aquarium fish trade. Both recreational and licensed commercial aquarium fish collectors are allowed to operate within certain zones in the Great Barrier Reef (Ryan and Clarke 2005). While SCUBA and hookah are allowed for commercial collectors, recreational collectors can only use mask and snorkel for collecting aquarium fish. There are also gear restrictions (only by hands, small fishing lines or seine-nets) and bag limits (20 fish per person) on aquarium fish collection for both recreational and commercial collectors (Ryan and Clarke 2005). There is no specific management or regulation on E. insidiator.

Citation: To, A., Liu, M., Craig, M. & Rocha, L. 2010. Epibulus insidiator. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187722A8612353. . Downloaded on 23 May 2018.
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