Haemulon sciurus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Haemulidae

Scientific Name: Haemulon sciurus (Shaw, 1803)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Bluestriped Grunt
Spanish Ronco Carite
Anthias formosus Bloch, 1792
Diabasis obliquatus Bennett, 1832
Haemulon elegans Cuvier, 1829
Haemulon luteum Poey, 1860
Haemulon multilineatum Poey, 1860
Sparus sciurus Shaw, 1803

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-10-10
Assessor(s): Lindeman, K., Anderson, W., Carpenter, K.E., Claro, R., Cowan, J., Padovani-Ferreira, B., Rocha, L.A. & Sedberry, G.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A.
Contributor(s): Steell, M. & Tishler, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Comeros-Raynal, M., Elfes, C., Linardich, C. & Polidoro, B.
This species is widespread is the western Atlantic where it is common and can be locally abundant. This species can be harvested locally by a wide array of gears for commercial artisanal and recreational purposes. There is limited fisheries information as this species is reported within mixed catch categories if at all. It can potentially be locally harvested if large aggregations are targeted by nets or traps, yet this species is not known to face any major threats at the global scale currently. There are no known, species-specific conservation measures in place for this species, but it has been included in regional management plans. Haemulon sciurus is listed as Least Concern. More information regarding long term, species-level time series is needed for the more heavily fished areas in the range of this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed in the western Atlantic from South Carolina south along the U.S. coast, Bermuda, the Bahamas, in the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida Keys north to Cedar Key (Florida) and Tuxpan, Mexico along the northern Yucatan Peninsula to northwestern Cuba, and throughout the Caribbean Sea (R. Robertson pers. comm. 2014). Records from Brazil are based on misidentifications. Its depth range is one to 40 m.
Countries occurrence:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; 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 – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):40
Upper depth limit (metres):1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Haemulon sciurus occurs in high abundances in many areas throughout its range. Adults of the species are harvested by many gears but data are not available at the species level in most areas. Early life stages of H. sciurus can be very abundant in mangrove and seagrass bed habitats (Mumby et al. 2007). This species was recorded as one of the top ten species in abundance and biomass in the Florida Keys (Causey et al. 2002). Haemulon sciurus was reported to occur in moderate numbers (n=218) within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary during a study conducted from February 1999 to January 2001 (Acosta et al. 2007). In the Dry Tortugas National Park stationary point sampling from 1994 to 1997 observed 950 specimens (Bohnsack and McClellan 2007). This is the second most important haemulid species in commercial fisheries in Cuba after H. plumierii (R. Claro pers. comm. 2014). It was the most abundant species in visual transect and trap samplings of Great Lameshur Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands between 1998-1999 (Beets et al. 2003). During the visual transect sampling of this area, 3.00 ± 9.01 individuals larger than 15 cm were recorded per transect (50 m x 2 m) in reef/boulder habitat; none were recorded in seagrass beds.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Haemulon sciurus is an intermediate-size, reef-associated species that occurs in subtropical waters. Juveniles are most common in shallow water (Lieske and Myers 1994, McEachran and Fechhelm 2005). Adults are found in small or large groups over coral and rocky reefs, as well as mangroves and seagrass beds. Large adult members of this species are more abundant on reef/boulder habitat than on seagrass beds. It is found in small groups over coral and rocky reefs and drop-offs (Lieske and Myers 1994). Adults of H. sciurus make nocturnal migrations into adjacent seagrass habitat. Adults also exhibit very high site fidelity to diurnal resting sites on the reef, with little movement during diurnal periods (Beets et al. 2003). Adults of this species feed on crustaceans, bivalves and occasionally on small fishes, as well as foraminifera and gastropods (Layman and Silliman 2002). Maximum total length is approximately 46 cm and the maximum published weight is 750 g (Cervigón et al. 1992). Maximum recorded size in seagrass habitat matches the smallest average sized individuals of H. sciurus within mangrove shorelines, which strongly suggests that mangroves are utilized as a secondary or sequential habitat by members of this species (Faunce and Serafy 2007). The juvenile usage of several backreef habitats in comparison to congeners is reviewed in Nagelkerken (2009). There is evidence that H. sciurus forms spawning aggregations in May and June in Bermuda (Trott et al. 2010).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Haemulon sciurus is of locally variable commercial importance to the fisheries industry and the aquarium trade (Nigrelli 1959, Cervigón et al. 1992). It is harvested using traps, seines, hook and line and spears. Juveniles can occur as bycatch in shrimp trawl fisheries.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There can be localized potential for overfishing, particularly if aggregations are targeted (e.g. Trott et al. 2010). Adults of the species can be closely associated with coral habitats and a variety of direct and indirect threats may arise with increasing climate change impacts on corals and associated habitats (Ateweberhan et al. 2013). However, it is not known to face any major threats at the global scale currently.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

This species is was removed from the Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Unit of the US South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in April 2012, and is not federally-managed in the US Gulf of Mexico. It is part of the default bag limit in the state of Florida (total of two fish or 100 lbs per day, whichever is more). It is in the Reef Fish Management Plan of the US Caribbean Fishery Management Council with allocations to the recreational and commercial sectors. It can be a common species in marine protected regions of the region (e.g. Sedberry et al. 1999).

Citation: Lindeman, K., Anderson, W., Carpenter, K.E., Claro, R., Cowan, J., Padovani-Ferreira, B., Rocha, L.A. & Sedberry, G. 2016. Haemulon sciurus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T194422A2334147. . Downloaded on 18 November 2017.
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