Pseudochromis fuscus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Pseudochromidae

Scientific Name: Pseudochromis fuscus Müller & Troschel, 1849
Common Name(s):
English Brown Dottyback
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2014. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 4 December 2014. Available at: (Accessed: 4 December 2014).
Taxonomic Notes: Given the relatively extensive geographic range of this species, as well as the presence of geographic variation in certain meristic characters, it is highly probable that further studies (particularly field- and aquarium-based studies of live coloration) will provide justification for the subdivision of Pseudochromis fuscus as currently conceived into several species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-10
Assessor(s): Smith-Vaniz, W.F.
Reviewer(s): Ralph, G. & Buchanan, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Harwell, H.
This species is widely distributed throughout the Indo-West Pacific to depths of 30 m in coral reef habitats, and is common in parts of its range. It is a component of the aquarium trade and may be impacted by habitat loss due to degradation of coral reefs in parts of its range. However, significant global population declines are not suspected, and its range overlaps with several marine protected areas. It is therefore assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is one of the most widely distributed pseudochromids, ranging from Sri Lanka east to Yap and Vanuatu, north to the Ryukyu Islands and south to the central coast of Western Australia and the southern coast of Queensland. It is found down to depths of 30 m (Gill 2004).
Countries occurrence:
Australia; Brunei Darussalam; China; Disputed Territory (Paracel Is., Spratly Is.); India (Andaman Is.); Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; Micronesia, Federated States of ; New Caledonia; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Solomon Islands; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Vanuatu; Viet Nam
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central; Pacific – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):30
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is the most common dottyback in shallow seas of the east Indian region (Allen and Erdmann 2012).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species has been collected from rock and coral reefs in lagoons, on reef flats and on reef slopes at depths ranging to 30 m. It is usually associated with Acropora and Pocillopora (Gill 2004). The maximum recorded length for this species is 10 cm TL (Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001). Thresher (1984) suggests that this species is sexually dimorphic, however; gross examination of gonads of museum specimens proved inconclusive (Gill 2004).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is a component of the marine aquarium trade (Accessed through LiveAquaria Database,, 2015-03).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is a component of the marine aquarium trade. 

There have been no confirmed population declines in this species. However, because of its affinity with coral reefs, we infer that this species may be experiencing population declines due to habitat loss in parts of its range.

As of 2008, fifteen percent of the world’s coral reefs were considered under imminent threat of being “Effectively Lost” (with 90% of the corals lost and unlikely to recover soon), with regions in East Africa, South and South-east Asia, and the wider Caribbean being the most highly threatened (Wilkinson 2008).

Of 704 zooxanthellate reef-building coral species which were assessed by using the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Criteria, 32.8% are in categories with elevated risk of extinction (Carpenter et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species specific conservation efforts in place for this species, however; the range of this species overlaps with a number of marine protected areas (IUCN and UNEP 2014).

Errata [top]

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

Citation: Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 2016. Pseudochromis fuscus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69583417A115465861. . Downloaded on 27 May 2018.
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