Acanthurus japonicus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES ACANTHURIDAE

Scientific Name: Acanthurus japonicus
Species Authority: (Schmidt, 1931)
Common Name(s):
English Japanese Surgeonfish, Powder Black Surgeon, White-nose Surgeonfish
Synonym(s):
Acanthurus japonica (Schmidt, 1931)
Hepatus aliala japonicus Schmidt, 1931
Taxonomic Notes: This species is a member of the Acanthurus achilles species complex known for their propensity to hybridize (Randall and Frische 2000). The four species in this complex (A. achilles Shaw, A.japonicus Schmidt, A.leucosternon Bennett, and A.nigricans) are thought to hybridize when their distributional ranges overlap (Craig 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-05-03
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 japonicus is common and abundant in most of its range. It is not specifically targeted in any fishery and is found in marine reserves in parts of its range. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Acanthurus japonicus is found from southern Japan and southwards to Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is rarely found in Palau.
Countries:
Native:
Disputed Territory (Spratly Is.); Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; Palau; Philippines; Taiwan, Province of China
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Acanthurus japonicus was occasionally found in Calamianes Islands, Puerto Princesa, San Vicente and Taytay Philippines (Werner and Allen 2000, J. Pontillas pers. comm. 2010).  It is common and abundant in the Philippines (R. Abesamis, C. Nanola and B. Stockwell pers. comm. 2010).

In the central Philippines, density and biomass of herbivorous fish in reserves had positive relationships with duration of reserve protection. Acanthuridae and Labridae (parrotfishes) were the major families that increased in biomass inside reserves with increased duration of reserve protection. Herbivore biomass inside reserves compared to fished sites was on average 1.4, 4.8 and 8.1 times higher at 0.5 to 4, 5 to 7 and 8 to 11 years of protection, respectively (Stockwell et al. 2009).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Acanthurus japonicus is classified as a grazer (Choat and Bellwood pers. obs. in Green and Bellwood 2009). 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).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Acanthurus japonicus is a component of the aquarium trade (Global Marine Aquarium Database accessed 19 March 2010). Online prices range from $49.99-$69.99 (L. Rocha pers. comm. 2010). It is also caught incidentally in artisanal fisheries.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known for this species.

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]

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.

Craig, M.T. 2008. The goldrim surgeonfish (Acanthurus nigricans; Acanthuridae) from Diego Garcia, Chagos Archipelago: first record for the central Indian Ocean. Zootaxa 1850: 65-68.

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

Green, A.L. and Bellwood, D.R. 2009. Monitoring functional groups of herbivorous reef fishes as indicators of coral reef resilience ? A practical guide for coral reef managers in the Asia Pacific region. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

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

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

Randall, J.E. and Frische, J. 2000. Hybrid Surgeonfishes of the Acanthurus achilles Complex. Aqua: Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 4(2): 51-56.

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.

Stockwell, B., Jadloc, C.R.L., Abesamis, R.A., Alcala, A.C. and Russ, G.R. 2009. Trophic and benthic responses to no-take marine reserve protection in the Philippines. Marine Ecology Progress Series 389: 1-15.

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 japonicus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 September 2014.
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