Acanthurus nigricauda

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES ACANTHURIDAE

Scientific Name: Acanthurus nigricauda
Species Authority: Duncker & Mohr, 1929
Common Name(s):
English Blackstreak Surgeonfish, Shoulderbar Surgeonfish, Epaulette Surgeonfish, Black-barred Surgeonfish, White-tail Surgeonfish
French Chirurgien à Queue Blanche
Synonym(s):
Acanthurus gahm subspecies nigricauda Duncker & Mohr, 1929
Acanthurus nigricaudus Duncker & Mohr, 1929
Taxonomic Notes: A. nigricauda x olivaceous hybrids have been observed in the Marshall Islands (Randall 2001a).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-05-04
Assessor(s): Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B.
Reviewer(s): Davidson, L., Edgar, G. & Kulbicki, M.
Justification:
Acanthurus nigricauda is widespread in the Indo-Pacific Region and is common in parts of its range. It is harvested as food and is a component of the aquarium trade. Harvest 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 nigricauda is widespread in the Indo-Pacific and is found from East Africa to the Society Islands and Tuamotu Archipelago, northwards to Ryukyu Islands, Japan and southwards to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia and New Caledonia. It is absent from the Red Sea, Arabian Peninsula and the Hawaiian Islands.
Countries:
Native:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; British Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos Archipelago); Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Cook Islands; Disputed Territory (Paracel Is., Spratly Is.); Fiji; French Polynesia; French Southern Territories (Mozambique Channel Is.); Guam; India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Indonesia; Japan; Kenya; Kiribati (Gilbert Is., Kiribati Line Is., Phoenix Is.); Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius (Mauritius (main island), Rodrigues); Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Réunion; Samoa; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States Minor Outlying Islands (Howland-Baker Is., US Line Is., Wake Is.); Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In the Philippines, Acanthurus nigricauda is common over sandy bottoms. Abundance estimates in Guam record 1 ind/500 m2 (J. McIlwain pers. comm. 2010). It is targeted in Guam and makes up 2% of the acanthurid community and 5% of the acanthurid fishery. It is uncommon to rare in fished areas (J. McIlwain unpub. data). Visual census surveys along Aceh coast, Weh Island, Indonesia recorded fish densities of 8 individuals/750 m2 at Pantai sirkui, 9 individuals/750 m2 at Teupin Layeu and 6 individuals/750 m2 at Teluk Pelabuhan (Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science 2007).

This species was recorded as common in terms of relative abundance in the northern Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea (Allen 2009).  It is moderately common in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea and in Raja Ampat, Indonesia (Allen 2003, 2003b). It was occasionally found in Calamianes Islands, Philippines (Werner and Allen 2000). It is a ubiquitous species, usually seen over sand (K.D. Clements pers. comm. 2010). It is uncommon 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 nigricauda occurs in sandy areas near coral reefs or rocky bottom where it grazes on the biofilm on sandy surfaces. It has low levels of SCFAs (short chain fatty acids) (Clements and Choat 1995). Its diet is dominated by organic detritus and calcareous sediments with very small portions of identifiable algae (Choat et al. 2002b).

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 reported to form spawning aggregations on the Great Barrier Reef (Squire and Samoilys unpub.).

Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Acanthurus nigricauda is collected for food and is generally caught in traps, nets, or spear. It is also a minor component of the aquarium trade (Global Marine Aquarium Database accessed 19 March 2010). It is sold online for $119.99 (L. Rocha pers. comm. 2010).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Acanthurus nigricauda may be affected by targeted fishing in some parts of its range.

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. However, its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas within 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.

Choat, J.H. and Robertson, D.R. 2002a. Age-based studies on coral reef fishes. In: P.F. Sale (ed.), Coral reef fishes: dynamics and diversity in a complex ecosystem, pp. 57-80. Academic Press, Burlington, San Diego and London.

Choat, J.H., Clements, K.D. and Robbins, W.D. 2002b. The trophic status of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. 1. Dietary analyses. Marine Biology 140: 613-623.

Clements, K.D. and Choat, J.H. 1995. Fermentation in tropical marine herbivorous fish. Physiological Zoology 68(3): 355-378.

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.

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).

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.

Squire, L.S. and Samoilys, M.A. unpublished. Reports on observations of fish spawning aggregations on the Great Barrier Reef.

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: Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Acanthurus nigricauda. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 August 2014.
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