Novaculichthys taeniourus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Novaculichthys taeniourus (Lacepède, 1801)
Common Name(s):
English Dragon wrasse, Masked wrasse, Olive-scribbled wrasse, Reindeer wrasse, Rockmover wrasse, Tahiti sand wrasse
French Labre masqué, Mardel, Rason algue
Spanish Cuchillo dragón, Doncella alguera, Señorita alguera, Vieja dragón
Hemipteronotus taeniourus (Lacepède, 1801)
Hemipteronotus taeniourus (Lacepède, 1801)
Hemipteronotus taeniurus (Lacepède, 1801)
Hemipteronotus taeniurus (Lacepède, 1801)
Julis bifer Lay & Bennett, 1839
Julis bifer Lay & Bennett, 1839
Labrus taeniours Lacepède, 1801
Labrus taeniours Lacepède, 1801
Labrus taeniourus Lacepède, 1801
Labrus taeniourus Lacepède, 1801
Novaculichthys bifer (Lay & Bennett, 1839)
Novaculichthys bifer (Lay & Bennett, 1839)
Novaculichthys taeniorus (Lacepède, 1801)
Novaculichthys taeniorus (Lacepède, 1801)
Novaculichthys taeniurus (Lacepède, 1801)
Novaculichthys taeniurus (Lacepède, 1801)
Novaculichtys taeniorus (Lacepède, 1801)
Novaculichtys taeniorus (Lacepède, 1801)
Xyrichthys taeniouris (Lacepède, 1801)
Xyrichthys taeniouris (Lacepède, 1801)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-02-16
Assessor(s): Pollard, D., Yeeting, B. & Liu, M.
Reviewer(s): Craig, M.T. & Carpenter, K.E.
This species is widespread throughout much of the Indo-Pacific, and is apparently relatively common in some parts of its range. There are no known major threats to the species, although it is utilized in the marine aquarium fish trade. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. However, more information on population trends and harvest levels in the aquarium fish trade is needed.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is widespread in the tropical and sub tropical waters (mainly ~30°N to ~30°S) of the Indo-Pacific Region. It is found from the Red Sea and East Africa (Oman to South Africa) in the west to the Galapagos Islands and Panama in the eastern Pacific, and in the western Pacific from the Ryukyu Islands (southern Japan) and Hawaiian Islands in the north to Lord Howe Island (off eastern Australia) in the south.
Countries occurrence:
American Samoa; Australia; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cambodia; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Colombia; Comoros; Cook Islands; Costa Rica; Djibouti; Ecuador; Egypt; El Salvador; Eritrea; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; Guatemala; Honduras; India; Indonesia; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mexico; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Nicaragua; Niue; Norfolk Island; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Palau; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central; Pacific – southeast; Pacific – eastern central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):35
Upper depth limit (metres):1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no specific population information available for this species, although it can apparently be fairly common, though generally not abundant, in parts of its range.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in sandy and rubble areas among coral reefs, including semi-exposed reef flats, lagoons and seaward reefs. It often occurs over areas of mixed sand and rubble subject to mild surge (Myers 1991). Juveniles are found over shallow rubble amongst large bommies or protected open patches on reef crests. Larger adults are often found in pairs over rubble areas, where they move pieces of coral debris with their mouths to search for food.

This species feeds on zoobenthos, including molluscs, echinoderms, polychaetes and crabs (Fischer et al. 1990). The juveniles, which imitate floating leaves or algal fronds, are quite different in their form and colour pattern to the adults, which are highly territorial (Westneat 2001).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species may occasionally be taken for food in local artisanal fisheries. It is collected for the aquarium trade. It is sold for US$ 25 in the USA as an aquarium fish.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known major threats to this species. It is present in the marine aquarium fish trade but the degree of its extraction is not known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures for this species. However, its distribution includes a number of
Marine Protected Areas within its range. More species-specific information on population trends and harvest levels is needed.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.3. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.4. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

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

Bibliography [top]

Broad, G. 2003. Fishes of the Philippines. Anvil Publishing, Pasay City.

Dominici-Arosemena, A. and Wolff, M. 2006. Reef fish community structure in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (Panama): living on a relatively stable rocky reef environment. Helgoland Marine Research 60: 287-305.

Fischer, W., Sousa, I., Silva, C., de Freitas, A., Poutiers, J.M., Schneider, W., Borges, T.C., Feral, J.P. and Massinga, A. 1990. Fichas FAO de identificaçao de espécies para actividades de pesca. Guia de campo das espécies comerciais marinhas e de águas salobras de Moçambique. FAO, Rome.

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

Lieske, E. and Myers, R.F. 1994. Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific and Caribbean including the Red Sea. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, USA.

Myers, R.F. 1991. Micronesian reef fishes. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam.

Nguyen, N.T. and Nguyen, V.Q. 2006. Biodiversity and living resources of the coral reef fishes in Vietnam marine waters. Science and Technology Publishing House, Hanoi.

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

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. and Steene, R.C. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Westneat, M.W. 2001. Labridae. Wrasses, hogfishes, razorfishes, corises, tuskfishes. In: K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds), FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific, Bony fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeridae), pp. 3381-3467. FAO, Rome.

Citation: Pollard, D., Yeeting, B. & Liu, M. 2010. Novaculichthys taeniourus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187441A8536165. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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