Taenianotus triacanthus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Scorpaeniformes Scorpaenidae

Scientific Name: Taenianotus triacanthus Lacepède, 1802
Common Name(s):
English Leaf Scorpionfish, Paper Scorpionfish, Sailfin Leaffish, Three-spined Scorpionfish
French Poisson Balance, Poisson-feuille , Rascasse-feuille
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2015. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 2 June 2015. Available at: (Accessed: 2 June 2015).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-05
Assessor(s): Motomura, H. & Matsuura, K.
Reviewer(s): Linardich, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Harwell, H. & Deal, J.
Taenianotus triacanthus is widespread and common throughout the Indo-Pacific. There are no known major threats. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Taenianotus triacanthus is widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific, from East Africa to French Polynesia, north to southern Japan, south to New South Wales, Australia. There is a single record from the Galapagos Islands (Randall 2005).
Countries occurrence:
American Samoa; Australia; British Indian Ocean Territory; Brunei Darussalam; China; Christmas Island; Comoros; Cook Islands; Disputed Territory (Spratly Is.); Ecuador (Galápagos); Fiji; French Polynesia; French Southern Territories (Mozambique Channel Is.); Guam; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kenya; Kiribati (Gilbert Is., Kiribati Line Is., Phoenix Is.); Korea, Republic of; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Réunion; Samoa; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; South Africa; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States (Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands (Howland-Baker Is., US Line Is., Wake Is.); Vanuatu; Wallis and Futuna
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – southeast; Pacific – western central; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):135
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is common throughout its range (H. Motomura pers. comm. 2015).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Taenianotus triacanthus inhabits coral reefs and rocks in sublittoral and intertidal habitats with strong wave action. It occurs at depths of 1 to 135 m. Max length recorded is 7.9 cm; possibly 10 cm TL (Randall 2005). It sways with the current to mimic its surroundings. Taenianotus triacanthus feeds on crustaceans and fishes; also feeds on larvae (Allen and Erdmann 2012). This species molts, shedding its skin in a nearly single piece (almost like a snake) (H. Motomura pers. comm. 2015).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is taken for the aquarium trade, given its unusual appearance and interesting behavior (H. Motomura pers. comm. 2015). It is a poor swimmer; easily caught with hand nets.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There have been no confirmed population declines. However, because of its affinity with coral reefs, we suspect it may be experiencing population declines due to habitat loss in parts of its range. However, it is also found on rocky reefs, and significant global population declines are not suspected.
As of 2008, 15% 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 et al. 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 measures in place. This species likely occurs in marine protected areas in parts of its range (IUCN and UNEP-WCMC).

Citation: Motomura, H. & Matsuura, K. 2016. Taenianotus triacanthus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T79800214A79800219. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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