Haemulon chrysargyreum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Haemulidae

Scientific Name: Haemulon chrysargyreum Günther, 1859
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Smallmouth Grunt
Spanish ronco boquichica
Brachygenys taeniata Poey, 1860
Brachygenys chrysargyreus Günther, 1859
Haemulon taeniatum Poey, 1860

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2011-03-01
Assessor(s): Anderson, W., Claro, R., Cowan, J., Lindeman, K., Padovani-Ferreira, B., Rocha, L.A. & Sedberry, G.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A.
Contributor(s): Steell, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Comeros-Raynal, M., Elfes, C., Linardich, C. & Polidoro, B.
This species is widely distributed and can be locally abundant in shallow reef habitats. The species is short and slender and rarely directly sought for food. It is not an important commercial, recreational, or artisanal fish in most areas. Juveniles use shallow nearshore habitats and could be subject to local habitat degradation from coastal construction. There are no known major threats; therefore, it is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed in the western Atlantic from Cape Canaveral, Florida, south along the U.S. coast to the Bahamas, in the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida Keys and Tuxpan, Mexico, along the northern Yucatan Peninsula to northwestern Cuba, and throughout the Caribbean Sea, including the Serranilla Cays (R. Robertson pers. comm. 2014). It also inhabits the Fernando do Noronha and Atoll das Rocas Islands off Brazil; however, it does not occur along the coast (Rocha and Rosa 1999). Its depth range is 1-30 m, but often occurs shallower than 10 m (Robins and Ray 1986).
Countries occurrence:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Brazil (Fernando de Noronha); 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 – southwest; Atlantic – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):30
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Haemulon chrysargyreum is common and abundant in parts of its range. It is one of five species that accounted for 77% of the total visual census density of trappable fish in the Barbados Marine Reserve and the adjacent non-reserve. Density estimates for this species were recorded at 15.60 individuals/400 m2 in the Barbados Marine Reserve, and 2.67 individuals/400 m2 in the non-reserve (Chapman and Kramer 1999). A study by Tupper and Juanes (1999) concerning the effects of the Barbados Marine Reserve on the recruitment dynamics of haemulid fishes and their predators on coral reefs shows that the size and abundance of the adult grunts Haemulon chrysargyreum, H. aurolineatum, and H. flavolineatum, as well as piscivores that prey on grunts, were greater within the reserve than on adjacent reefs. However, the size and abundance of older juvenile grunts did not differ between protected and exploited reefs. Recruitment and early juvenile abundance were lower within the reserve and were inversely related to predator density. The results indicate that although protection has a significant positive effect on the size and abundance of large carnivorous fishes, higher predation inside the reserve may lead to reduced juvenile recruitment; the Barbados Marine Reserve appears to be a local sink for juvenile grunts. At several sites in Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, schools of 40-1,000 individuals were observed in June and July, 2002, and June 2003 (Krajewski et al. 2004). The average number of individuals in Noronha was 2.3 ind/100 m2, and varied between 0-80 individuals per transect (Reef Check Brazil, unpublished data). A study conducted by Hawkins and Roberts (2004) to determine the effects of artisanal fishing on fish assemblages and benthic communities in six islands in the Caribbean, with fishing pressures range from non-existent in Bonaire to very high in Jamaica, show that grunt biomass did not decrease as fishing pressure increased, although biomass differed significantly among the islands.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Haemulon chrysargyreum is a reef-associated, schooling species that occurs in subtropical waters (Robins and Ray 1986, Cervigón 1993). Juveniles are found over hard bottoms and around coral reefs or Thalassia grass beds; adults are found around coral reefs.  It forages mostly at night, and forms large inactive schools around shallow reefs during the day (Randall 1967). Diet mainly consists of zooplankton, including copepods, amphipods, ostracods, shrimps, and crab larvae.  Maximum total length for this species is 23.0 cm (McEachran and Fechhelm 2005). A presumed example of protective mimicry between the yellow goatfish, Mulloidichthys martinicus, and the smallmouth grunt, Haemulon chrysargyreum (Haemulidae) is described from Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, northeastern Brazil. The colour and shape resemblances between the two species enable their mixed schooling, and enhance the protection against visually oriented predators for both of species (Krajewski et al. 2004).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Typically, this species is not targeted due to its small size and narrow body, but it can be subject to local fishing (Tupper and Juanes 1999).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no major threats for this species. Juveniles use can use shallow nearshore hardbottom habitats and can be subject to local habitat degradation from dredging burial of habitats (Lindeman and Snyder 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Due to its very limited fishery value, this species does not appear to have any species-specific management measures in place.  

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Citation: Anderson, W., Claro, R., Cowan, J., Lindeman, K., Padovani-Ferreira, B., Rocha, L.A. & Sedberry, G. 2015. Haemulon chrysargyreum. (errata version published in 2017) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T194417A115335430. . Downloaded on 22 September 2017.
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