Scarus niger 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Scarus niger Forsskål, 1775
Common Name(s):
English Dusky Parrotfish, Black Parrotfish, Swarthy Parrotfish
French Kakatoi Brisant, Perroquet Dorade, Poisson-perroquet Noir
Callyodon lineolabiatus Fowler & Bean, 1928
Callyodon madagascariensis (Steindachner, 1887)
Callyodon maoricus Jordan & Seale, 1906
Callyodon niger (Forsskål, 1775)
Callyodon nuchipunctatus (Valenciennes, 1840)
Pseudoscarus flavomarginatus Kner, 1865
Pseudoscarus godeffroyi Günther, 1909
Pseudoscarus madagascariensis Steindachner, 1887
Pseudoscarus niger viridis Klunzinger, 1871
Scarus chadri Lacepède, 1802
Scarus limbatus Valenciennes, 1840
Scarus lineolabiatus (Fowler & Bean, 1928)
Scarus makaravar Montrouzier, 1857
Scarus nigar Forsskål, 1775
Scarus nuchipunctatus Valenciennes, 1840
Taxonomic Notes: Differences in colour patterns strongly suggest separate Indian and Pacific Ocean species. However, molecular data are not available at this time (J.H. Choat pers comm. 2009).

Westneat and Alfaro (2005) recognize the Scarini as a tribe within the family Labridae. The genera Chlororus and Scarus are two distinct monophyletic lineages (Smith et al. 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2009-09-18
Assessor(s): Choat, J.H., Russell, B., Myers, R., Clements, K.D., Rocha, L.A., Lazuardi, M.E., Muljadi, A., Pardede, S. & Rahardjo, P.
Reviewer(s): McIlwain, J. & Craig, M.T.
This species is widespread in the Indo-Pacific. It is an abundant Scarus in parts of its range. It is a component of artisanal fisheries and is targeted in parts of its range. There have been 50-60% declines in the past 20-30 years in at least one part of its range in the central Philippines. There are no indications of population declines through harvesting elsewhere in its distribution. It is found in a number of marine reserves. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. Although there are numerous marine reserves in areas where this species is heavily fished (Coral Triangle Region), most reserves are not very well managed. However, in well-managed reserves parrotfishes tend to recover comparatively quickly and therefore increased management in protected areas and potentially fishery protection might offset the overexploitation of this species. More research is needed on this species habitat specific behavior, population biology, and population status.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Society Islands and Tuamotu Archipelago, northwards to Ryukyu and Ogasawara Islands, Japan, southwards to the Great Barrier Reef, Lord Howe Island and New Caledonia and Western Australia south to Shark Bay. It does not occur in Hawaii, Lines Islands and Marquesas.
Countries occurrence:
American Samoa; Australia; British Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos Archipelago); Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Cook Islands; Disputed Territory (Paracel Is., Spratly Is.); Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; French Polynesia; French Southern Territories (Mozambique Channel Is.); Guam; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati (Kiribati Line Is.); Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius (Mauritius (main island), Rodrigues); Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States Minor Outlying Islands (Howland-Baker Is.); Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):20
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is widespread and abundant on reef slopes and crests over most of its range. In the Red Sea, it achieves abundances of 176 individuals per hectare in some locations making it one of the most abundant parrotfish in this region. In the Western Pacific reefs abundance estimates were recorded at 5-10 individuals per 1,000 m2 (J.H. Choat, pers comm. 2009). It is common in Raja Ampat (Allen 2003).

This species is heavily fished in Aceh, Indonesia (S. Pardede pers comm. 2009) with catch rates recorded at 0.058 kg/trip. It is heavily impacted by fishing in the central Philippines, with reductions in the order of 50-60% compared with adjacent marine protected area sites (Stockwell et al. 2009).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is a small to moderate size reef Scarus (32-40 cm) (Randall and Bruce 1983, Randall et al. 1997). It is characteristic of reef fronts and crests to 30 m depth (Choat and Randall 1986, Lieske and Myers 1994). It has variable life spans with a maximum age recorded to 18 yrs (Choat et al. 1996). It is solitary except during courtship (G. Allen pers comm. 2009).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is captured as food in artisanal fisheries. It is not targeted in Guam and is a very minor component of Guam reef fishery 1985-2007 (Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources unpub. data).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is fished in some parts of its range where destructive fishing practices and habitat destruction are prevalent. However, these threats are not considered to affect the overall status of its population.

Parrotfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reefs, while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. Although the majority of the parrotfishes occur in mixed habitat (primarily inhabiting seagrass beds, mangroves, and rocky reefs) approximately 78% of these mixed habitat species are experiencing greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and habitat quality across their distributions. Of those species that occur exclusively in coral reef habitat, more than 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% of coral reef loss and degradation across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of habitat loss and degradation on these species populations.   Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that depend on live coral reefs for food and shelter especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats. Furthermore, coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for some corallivorous excavating parrotfishes that play major roles in reef dynamics and sedimentation (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. However, its distribution overlaps several well-policed marine protected areas within its range.

Citation: Choat, J.H., Russell, B., Myers, R., Clements, K.D., Rocha, L.A., Lazuardi, M.E., Muljadi, A., Pardede, S. & Rahardjo, P. 2012. Scarus niger. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T190740A17788701. . Downloaded on 19 April 2018.
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