|Scientific Name:||Takifugu xanthopterus|
|Species Authority:||(Temminck & Schlegel, 1850)|
Fugu xanthopterus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1850)
Tetraodon xanthopterus Temminck & Schlegel, 1850
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Least Concern ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||Lyczkowski-Shultz, J., Leis, J.L., Jing, L., Hardy, G., Liu, M. & Matsuura, K.|
|Reviewer(s):||Zapfe, G. & Shao, K.|
|Facilitator/Compiler(s):||Carpenter, K.E., Comeros-Raynal, M., Harwell, H. & Sanciangco, J.|
Takifugu xanthopterus is widely distributed in the northwest Pacific, and is known from southern Japan, the Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, and the East and South China seas, including Taiwan, at depths ranging from one to 100 metres. It appears to be locally abundant in parts of its range It is a commercially important species. In Japan it is one of the top four Fugu species. Habitat modification in estuaries is occurring in parts of its range snf we infer that these events are contributing to population declines in parts of its range. However, declines are not approaching the thresholds for a threatened category. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. We recommend monitoring of its habitat status in the near future, population status, harvest and trade levels. Due to the economic importance of the Takifugu genus, and the prevalence of taxonomic uncertainty within this group, we recommend further taxonomic studies utilizing both molecular and morphological methods.
|Range Description:||In the Northwest Pacific, T. xanthopterus is known southern Japan and the East China Sea. In China, it occurs in Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, and the East and South China seas, including Taiwan (Su and Li 2002, Nakabo 2002). Takifugu xanthopterus has occasionally been reported from off Primorye Krai, Russia (Kolpakov and Kolpakov 2003, Kolpakov 2007), during warmer years. It has been recorded at depths ranging from zero to 100 metres.|
Native:China; Japan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Taiwan, Province of China
|FAO Marine Fishing Areas:||
Pacific – northwest
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
Due to their relatively recent divergence times, Takifugu interspecific crosses produced by artificial and natural fertilization in both natural and laboratory settings were found to be viable (Fujita 1967, Masuda et al. 1991, Miyaki et al. 1995, Kai et al. 2005). Each combination of Takifugu species is expected to produce fertile hybrid crosses (Yamanoue et al. 2008). Molecular phylogenetic studies revealed sister relationships between T. xanthopterus, T. vermicularis, and T. niphobles (Song et al. 2001). Natural hybrids of T. xanthopterus and T. vermicularis have been recorded from in Ariake Bay, Kyushu, Japan (Masuda et al. 1991).
Other population information
In 1979 and 1980, juvenile and adult T. xanthoperus ranging from 7.7–9.0 mm were the fourteenth most numerically dominant species in Honmyo estuary of the Isahaya area, an altered estuarine area. Surveys from 2005–2006 found this species to be most abundant in upper estuarine areas characterized by brackish, highly turbid waters with high tidal velocities and high species richness and density (Yagi et al. 2010). Young form large schools in shallow waters and adults migrate to deeper waters (K. Matsuura pers. comm. 2011). Takifugu xanthopterus is moderately common in Hong Kong waters, and is the most common pufferfish in trawlers in the western Hong Kong waters, near estuaries of the Pearl River. It is also common in Chinese waters and the Taiwan Strait (M. Liu and J. Lui pers. comm. 2011).
Habitat modification in estuaries is occurring in parts of its range and we infer that these events are contributing to population declines in parts of its range. Declines are not approaching the thresholds for a threatened category, but we recommend monitoring of its habitat status in the near future.
|Habitat and Ecology:||
Takifugu xanthopterus occurs in the sublittoral zone and estuaries, on rock bottoms (Yamada et al. 1995). In 1979 and 1980, juveniles and adults of this species ranging from 7.7– 9.0 mm were the fourteenth most numerically dominant species in Honmyo estuary of the Isahaya area, an altered estuarine area. Surveys from 2005–2006 found this species to be most abundant in upper estuarine areas characterized by brackish, highly turbid waters with high tidal velocities and high species richness and density (Yagi et al. 2010). This species has been found in the mouth area and lower reaches of the Tumen River in Russia (Oksyuzyan and Sokolovsky 2003). Naturally occurring hybrids of T. vermicularis and T. xanthopterus have been observed from Ariake Bay, Kyushu, Japan (Masuda et al. 1991). Takifugu xanthopterus is known to bio-accumulate tetrodotoxin (TXX) in moderate concentration in the livers and ovaries (Noguchi et al. 2006). The ovaries and liver are highly toxic, the intestine is slightly toxic, and the flesh, skin and testes are innocuous (Nakabo 2002). This species has also been found to contain a non-toxic derivative of TTX in its liver, which is thought to be a precursor or metabolite of TTX (Nagashima et al. 2006).
The genus Takifugu speciated and radiated in marine waters around China, Korea, and Japan. The highest species density is found in the Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, and East China Sea, followed by the Sea of Japan and Pacific Coast of Japan, and finally by the South China Sea. Several species have been reported from the Indian Ocean (Yamanoue et al. 2008).
Tetraodontids are characterized by a tough skin that is often covered with small spinulous scales, a beak-like dental plate divided by a median suture, a slit-like gill opening anterior to the base of the pectoral fin, no pelvic fins, no fin spines, a single usually short-based dorsal fin, a single usually short-based anal fin, and no ribs. They are capable of inflating their abdomens with water when frightened or disturbed and are capable of producing and accumulating toxins such as tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin in the skin, gonads, and liver. The degree of toxicity varies by species, and also according to geographic area and season (Allen and Randall 1977, Allen and Erdmann 2012). Fishes in the family Tetraodontidae have the smallest vertebrate genomes known to date (Neafsey and Palumbi 2003).
|Use and Trade:||
Takifugu xanthopterus, also known as "Shima-fugu" in Japan, is commercially targeted for the consumptive pufferfish trade, and is among the top four fugu species. In Japan, pufferfish are caught primarily using modified longlines which are attractive to novice fishermen due to their ease of use (Kawata 2012). Additionally, T. xanthopterus is used in Chinese medicine (Tang 1987). This species has undergone population declines in parts of its range from harvesting, however, this is not inferred to reach the thresholds for a threatened category. Despite a ban on the sale of toxic pufferfishes in fish markets, T. xanthopterus may sometimes found in processed fish products in Taiwan (Huang et al. 2014).
Fishes of the genus Takifugu have become the focus of increasing aquaculture efforts throughout East Asia. Aquacultured Takifugu are used to meet increasing demand for pufferfish products and to enhance natural populations which have been depleted throughout the region (Kawata et al. 2012). Takifugu pufferfishes, principally represented by the tiger puffer, Takifugu rubripes, are raised in floating net pens in Japan, Korea, and China (Belle and Nash 2009).
The total wild catch of pufferfish species in Japan has been relatively stable, ranging from 7,800 to 11,000 tonnes from 1995 to 2002. The four most common species consumed in Japan are T. rubripes, T. snyderi, T. chinensis, and T. porphreus. Aquaculture efforts focus on T. rubripes, which ranks fifth among marine aquacultured species (the top aquacultured species in Japan are: Yellowtail (Seriola quinqueradiata), Red Sea Bream (Pagrus major), coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus). Although highly valuable (the market price of T. puffer is 1.5 times that of Japanese flounder, three times that of yellowtail or seabream), the value began to decrease rapidly from the late 1990s onwards due to importation of Tiger puffer from China. In Japan, the majority of fingerlings produced in commercial hatcheries are then raised in floating net cages for direct consumption. About 15 million fingerlings are produced by commercial hatcheries for aquaculture, 1.5 times higher than the amount produced for release for stock enhancement by semi-governmental hatcheries in 1999 (Kikuchi 2006). One of the most serious problems in the net cage aquaculture of tiger puffer is high mortality (survival is estimated to be less than 50%) from outbreaks of parasitic diseases (Ogawa and Inouye 1997).
Tiger puffer (T. rubripes) was introduced to China from Japan (Lin and Huang 2007). To meet increasing demand for pufferfish, China began large-scale artificial breeding of pufferfish in the 1990s. An annual output of about 4000 tonnes of T. rubripes, which was introduced from Japan to China (Lin and Huang 2007) is exported to Japan and South Korea. Additionally, an annual output of about 6000 tonnes of T. obscurus was also produced for export in China. Pufferfishes are still landed in China, mostly in Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong and other places. Nationwide, the total output of pufferfish is now around 20,000 tonnes per year (Ma et al. 2011).
This species has experienced population declines in parts of its range from harvesting, however, this is not inferred to reach thresholds for a threatened category.
Takifugu xanthopterus may be threatened by coastal habitat degradation and overfishing in parts of its range.
Genetic effects of cultured fish on natural populations
Regional threats: environmental degradation and over-fishing
There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for Takifugu xanthopterus. However, it is possible that management efforts aimed at sustaining T. rubripes fisheries have benefited T. xanthopterus.
In order to sustain fisheries of the East China Sea, the government of China has implemented a number of management and conservation measures. These include establishing a prohibited-fishing zone along the 5 m depth contour, the establishment of seventeen national nature reserves and five special marine protected areas, the creation of fishery protected areas which are annually closed to trawling, and summer closed-fishing area, which prohibit trawling and have been extended to the South China sea, Yellow Sea, and Bohai Sea (Cheng et al. 2007).
Extinction Risk Assessment
|Citation:||Lyczkowski-Shultz, J., Leis, J.L., Jing, L., Hardy, G., Liu, M. & Matsuura, K. 2014. Takifugu xanthopterus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 June 2015.|
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