Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Pomacanthidae

Scientific Name: Pomacanthus asfur
Species Authority: (Forsskål, 1775)
Common Name(s):
English Arabian Angelfish
Arusetta asfur (Forsskål, 1775)
Chaetodon asfur Forsskål, 1775

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-08
Assessor(s): Pyle, R., Rocha, L.A. & Craig, M.T.
Reviewer(s): Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.
A common species with a relatively wide range and no apparent major threats. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in the western Indian Ocean, where it ranges from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, south to the island of Zanzibar (Tanzania) (Allen 1980, G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). It has been recorded between 3-30 m in depth.
Countries occurrence:
Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Kenya; Saudi Arabia; Somalia; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Lower depth limit (metres):30
Upper depth limit (metres):3
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is generally common with stable populations.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is usually found along protected shallow shoreline reefs with a rich growth of hard and soft corals, often mixed with occasional areas of silty substrate. It is a solitary, relatively shy species, that is not easy to approach (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). Usually observed near large crevices or caves on the reef, and seldom venture away from these refuges (Allen 1980). It feeds mainly on sponges and tunicates (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is occasionally collected for the aquarium trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There appear to be no major threats to this species. Collection for the aquarium trade is limited to a few locations and does not seem to represent a global threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are no species-specific conservation measures in place. It is present within some marine protected areas.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.1. Outer Reef Channel
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.2. Back Slope
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.3. Foreslope (Outer Reef Slope)
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.4. Lagoon
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

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.

Garpe, K.C. and Öhman, M.C. 2003. Coral and fish distribution patterns in Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania: fish-habitat interactions. Hydrobiologia 498: 191-211.

Goren, M. and Dor, M. 1994. An updated checklist of the fishes of the Red Sea (CLOFRES II). The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Jerusalem, Israel.

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

Randall, J.E. 1995. Coastal fishes of Oman. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Sommer, C., Schneider, W. and Poutiers, J.M. 1996. The living marine resources of Somalia. FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy.

Citation: Pyle, R., Rocha, L.A. & Craig, M.T. 2010. Pomacanthus asfur. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165839A6145733. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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