Acanthurus mata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES ACANTHURIDAE

Scientific Name: Acanthurus mata
Species Authority: (Cuvier, 1829)
Common Name(s):
English Elongate Surgeonfish, White-tail Lancet, Bleeker's Surgeonfish, Mata Surgeonfish, Pale Surgeon, Striped Surgeonfish, Blue-lined Surgeonfish, Yellowmask Surgeonfish
French Chirurgien, Grand Picot de Récif, Picot Kanak, Poisson Docteur à Queue Blanche
Synonym(s):
Acanthurus bleekeri Günther, 1861
Acanthurus weberi Ahl,
Chaetodon mata Cuvier, 1829
Chaetodon meta Cuvier, 1829

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-05-04
Assessor(s): Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B.
Reviewer(s): Davidson, L., Edgar, G. & Kulbicki, M.
Justification:
Acanthurus mata is widespread in the Indo-Pacific and common in parts of its range. It is a targeted food fish in the Coral Triangle Region and is one of the more important surgeonfish harvested. Fishing is not considered a major threat globally and it occurs in a number of marine reserves in parts of its distribution. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Acanthurus mata is found from the Red Sea and Gulf of Oman, south to Natal, eastwards to Society and Marquesan Islands, northwards to southern Japan, southwards to New South Wales and New Caledonia. Juveniles occur as far south as Sydney (R. Myers pers. comm. 2010). It is reported from Western Australia (Allen and Swainston 1988), south to Shark Bay. It is not known to occur from the Hawaiian Islands, Pitcairn Islands and Rapa (Randall 2001a).
Countries:
Native:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; Bangladesh; British Indian Ocean Territory; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Cook Islands; Disputed Territory (Spratly Is.); Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; French Polynesia (Marquesas); French Southern Territories (Mozambique Channel Is.); Guam; India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati (Gilbert Is., Kiribati Line Is., Phoenix Is.); Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Acanthurus mata is common in parts of its range. Visual census surveys along Aceh coast, Weh Island, Indonesia recorded fish densities of 4 individuals/750 m2 at Pantai sirkui and 6 individuals/750 m2 at Teupin Layeu (Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science 2007). This species was recorded as moderately common in terms of relative abundance in the northern Bismarck Sea and Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea (Allen 2003, 2009). At Raja Ampat, Indonesia, it is moderately common, usually on drop-offs in turbid water (Allen 2003b). It is occasionally found in Calamianes Islands and El Nido, Philippines; mostly juveniles and subadults were seen (Werner and Allen 2000). It is rare in the American Samoa National Park (National Park of Samoa Checklist of Fishes accessed 21 April 2010).

In Kenya, landings during 1978-2001 for families that are less important in commercial catches (e.g., scarinae and Acanthuridae) showed rising catches (1978-1984) followed by a general decline during the 1990s, but the landings for the scarinae showed a rising trend in recent years (Kaunda-Arara et al. 2003).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Acanthurus mata generally feeds above the bottom on zooplankton, often in small schools. It is more inclined than other surgeonfishes to enter turbid water (Randall 2001a). It is found on coral reefs or over rocky substrata, generally at depths greater than 15 m. Juveniles feed on benthic algae, adults primarily on zooplankton. It was observed within and below schools of Caranx sexfasciatus feeding on fecal material (Randall 2001a). It is sometimes seen in aggregations (Randall 2001b). It is a very mobile pelagic species. Maximum age was 23 years (Choat and Robertson 2002).

Reproduction

The sexes are separate among the acanthurids (Reeson 1983). Acanthurids do not display obvious sexual dimorphism, males assume courtship colours (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010). This species was observed to form very large spawning aggregations on the reef flat of Palau around both full and new moons of May (Johannes 1981). A. mata is likely to form resident spawning aggregations (Domeier and Colin 1997). It is also known to form spawning aggregations on the Great Barrier Reef (Johannes 1981).

Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Acanthurus mata is a minor component of the aquarium trade (Global Marine Aquarium Database accessed 19 March 2010 ). Online prices range from $29.99-$168.95 (L. Rocha pers. comm. 2010). It is a targeted food fish in western Thailand (Allen 2005) and in the Philippines. It is caught in gill nets, spears, and traps in the Philippines.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Acanthurus mata is targeted in areas where illegal fishing practices are known to occur (i.e., Coral Triangle Region).

Surgeonfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reef while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. The majority of surgeonfishes are exclusively found on coral reef habitat, and of these, approximately 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and degradation of coral reef habitat quality across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of coral reef habitat loss and degradation on these species' populations. Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that recruit into areas with live coral cover, especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas in parts of its range.

Bibliography [top]

Allen, G.R. 2003. Appendix 5. List of the reef fishes of Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. In: G.R., Allen, J.P. Kinch, S.A. McKenna, and P. Seeto (eds), A Rapid Marine Biodiversity Assessment of Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea?Survey II (2000), pp. 172. Conservation International, Washington, DC, USA.

Allen, G.R. 2003b. Appendix 1. List of the Reef Fishes of the Raja Ampat Islands. In: R. Donnelly, D. Neville and P.J. Mous (eds), Report on a rapid ecological assessment of the Raja Ampat Islands, Papua, Eastern Indonesia, held October 30-November 22, 2002. The Nature Conservancy - Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas, Sanur, Bali.

Allen, G.R. 2009. Coral Reef Fish Diversity. In: R. Hamilton, A. Green and J. Almany (eds), Rapid Ecological Assessment: Northern Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea. Technical Report of survey conducted August 13 to September 7, 2006, The Nature Conservancy.

Allen, G.R. and Swainston, R. 1988. The marine fishes of north-western Australia: a field guide for anglers and divers. Western Australian Museum, Perth.

Allen, M. 2005. A post-tsunami assessment of coral reef fin-fish resources on the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand. In: G.R. Allen and G.S. Stone (eds), Rapid Assessment Survey of Tsunami-affected Reefs of Thailand. Final Technical Report. November 15, 2005.

Comeros-Raynal, M.T., Choat, J.H., Polidoro, B., Clements, K.D., Abesamis, R., Craig, M.T., Lazuardi, M.E., McIlwain, J., Muljadi, A., Myers, R.F., et al.. 2012. The likelihood of extinction of iconic and dominant components of coral reefs: the parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. PLoS ONE http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039825.

Domeier, M.L. and Colin, P.L. 1997. Tropical reef fish spawning and aggregations: defined and reviewed. Bulletin of Marine Science 60(3): 698-726.

Faculty of Mathematic and Natural Science (FMIPA) University of Syiah Kuala. 2007. Community-drive coral conservation in Aceh, Indonesia. A Report to Rufford Small Grant (for Nature Conservation). The Rufford Small Grants Foundation.

Global Marine Aquarium Database. 2010. Species Trade Details. Available at: http://www.unep-wcmc.org/GMAD/species.cfm. (Accessed: March 19).

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.2). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 17 October 2012).

Johannes, R.E. 1981. Words of the lagoon: fishing and marine lore in the Palau district of Micronesia. University of California Press, Berkley.

Kaunda-Arara, B., Rose, G.A., Muchiri, M.S. and Kaka, R. 2003. Long-term Trends in Coral Reef Fish Yields and Exploitation Rates of Commercial Species from Coastal Kenya. Western Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science 2(2): 105-116.

National Park of American Samoa. 2008. Fishes of National Park of American Samoa Checklist of Fishes Family Name Listing. Available at: http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/basch/uhnpscesu/htms/npsafish/family/acanthur.htm. (Accessed: 21 April).

Randall, J.E. 2001a. Surgeonfishes of the world. Mutual Publishing and Bishop Museum Press, Hawai'i, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Randall, J.E. 2001b. Acanthuridae. Surgeonfishes (tangs, unicornfishes). In: K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds), The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 6. Bony fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles, pp. 3653-3683. FAO, Rome.

Reeson, P.H. 1983. The biology, ecology and bionomics of the surgeonfishes, Acanthuridae. In: J.L. Munro (ed.), Caribbean coral reef fishery resources, pp. 178-190.

Russell, M. 2001. Spawning Aggregations of Reef Fishes on the Great Barrier Reef: Implications for Management. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Werner, T.B. and Allen, G.R. 2000. A rapid marine biodiversity assessment of the Calamianes Islands, Palawan province, Philippines. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 17. Conservation International, Washington, USA.


Citation: Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Acanthurus mata. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 August 2014.
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