Apolemichthys arcuatus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Apolemichthys arcuatus
Species Authority: (Gray, 1831)
Common Name(s):
English Banded Angelfish, Bandit Angelfish, Black-banded Angel
Desmoholacanthus arcuatus (Gray, 1831)
Holacanthus arcuatus Gray, 1831

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-08
Assessor(s): Pyle, R., Myers, R. & Craig, M.T.
Reviewer(s): Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.

This species is listed as Least Concern. Although there have been declines documented in some areas, these are not believed to have substantially affected the global population. In addition, it has a wide distribution (2/3 of which is within marine protected areas), large population and no apparent major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Hawaiian Archipelago and Johnston Atoll (Allen 1980, Randall et al. 1985, Mundy 2005, Endoh 2007). It is seldom seen at depths of less than 10 m (Allen 1980, Endoh 2007) but has been recorded as deep as 183 m at Johnston Atoll (Randall 1985). It is most abundant between 25-50 m (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).
United States (Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands (Johnston I., Midway Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is abundant (especially in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands and on deep reefs in the main Hawaiian Islands) but infrequently seen. Anecdotal reports suggest that populations on Oahu at scuba diving depths may have declined (R. Pyle pers. comm. 2009). There do not appear to have been any reported declines on other islands, and the global population is believed to be stable.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is most often found in locations with rocky reefs, particularly where there is an abundance of ledges and caves (Allen 1980). It has been less frequently observed in areas of rich coral (Allen 1980). Endoh (2007) notes that juveniles occur in rocky areas at greater depth. The diet largely consists of sponges, with some algal matter (Allen 1980, Endoh 2007).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is commercially collected for the pet trade. Adults are slow swimming and easy to collect, and small juveniles are popular amongst hobbyists (Endoh 2007). The species, especially adult specimens, are not easy to maintain in aquaria because of the specialised sponge and algal diet (Allen 1980, Endoh 2007). Commercial aquarium fishermen are reported to have set collection limits for this species (Endoh 2007).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no major threats to this species. Williams et al. (2008) reports unpublished 2007 data from the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (HDAR) that this species is targeted by the aquarium trade, and has substantially declined in abundance within normal diving depths on heavily collected reefs.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There appear to be no species-specific conservation measures in place. It is present within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Johnston Atoll and also form part of the The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

Bibliography [top]

Allen, G.R. 1980. Butterfly and angelfishes of the world. Wiley, New York.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R. and Allen, M. 1998. A guide to angelfishes and butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research.

Endoh, K. 2007. Angelfishes of the World. Two Little Fishies, Inc., Miami Gardens, Florida.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Mundy, B.C. 2005. Checklist of the fishes of the Hawaiian Archipelago. Bishop Museum Bulletins in Zoology 6: 1-704.

Randall, J.E. 1985. Guide to Hawaiian reef fishes. Harrowood Books, Newtown Square, PA, USA.

Randall, J.E., Lobel, P.S. and Chave, E.H. 1985. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Johnston Island. Pacific Science 39(1): 24-80.

Williams, I.D., Walsh, W.J., Schroeder, R.E., Friedlander, A.M., Richards, B.I. and Stamoulis, K.A. 2008. Assessing the importance of fishing impacts on Hawaiian coral reef fish assemblages along regional-scale human population gradients. Environmental Conservation 35(3): 261-272.

Citation: Pyle, R., Myers, R. & Craig, M.T. 2010. Apolemichthys arcuatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 29 March 2015.
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