Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Acanthuridae

Scientific Name: Ctenochaetus tominiensis
Species Authority: Randall, 1955
Common Name(s):
English Orange-tipped Bristletooth, Tomini Surgeonfish, Tomini Bristletooth, Yellow-tip bristle-tooth
Ctenochaetus tominienis Randall, 1955

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-05-07
Assessor(s): Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., Nanola, C., Abesamis, R., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Russell, B., Rocha, L.A. & Stockwell, B.
Reviewer(s): Edgar, G. & Kulbicki, M.
Ctenochaetus tominiensis is not targeted throughout its range and is only incidentally caught. It is moderately common to rare in parts of its distribution. There are no major threats known and it occurs in marine reserves in parts of its range. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Ctenochaetus tominiensis is found from Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, northern Great Barrier Reef, Solomon Islands, Palau, Vanuatu and Fiji.
Countries occurrence:
Australia; Fiji; Indonesia; Malaysia; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Solomon Islands; Timor-Leste; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – western central
Lower depth limit (metres):45
Upper depth limit (metres):3
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Ctenochaetus tominiensis was recorded as moderately common in terms of relative abundance in Milne Bay Province and the northern Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea, especially in sheltered locations that drop steeply to deep water. (Allen 2003, 2009). It is occasionally found at Raja Ampat, Indonesia (Allen 2003b). It appears to be rare on the northern Great Barrier Reef (K.D. Clements pers. comm. 2010). It is also not listed in the revised edition of the "Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea" by Randall et al. (1997) and in the "Reef fish identification- tropical Pacific" by Allen et al. (2003). It is restricted to inshore areas in the Philippines with low densities (C. Nanola unpub. data).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Ctenochaetus tominiensis is found in coral-rich areas, outer reef areas where not exposed to heavy surf. The genus Ctenochaetus feeds on fine detrital material. They whisk the sand or rocky substratum with their teeth and utilize suction to draw in the detrital material that consists of diatoms, small fragments of algae, organic material and fine inorganic sediment (Randall and Clements 2001).  Species of Ctenochaetus share the presence of a thick-walled stomach (Randall and Clements 2001), this character is significant with respect to the nutritional ecology of this genus (Choat et al. 2002b). The maximum age recorded was 20 years from Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, at 12.7 cm (FL) (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010).

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).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Ctenochaetus tominiensis is a minor component of the aquarium trade (Global Marine Aquarium Database accessed 19 March 2010). Online prices range from $39.99-$69.99 (L. Rocha pers. comm. 2010). It is rarely found in fish markets.

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

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.3. Foreslope (Outer Reef Slope)
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

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.

Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann, and N. DeLoach. 2003. Reef Fish Identification - Tropical Pacific. New World Publications, Jacksonville.

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.

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

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.2). Available at: (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., Allen, G.R. and Steene, R.C. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Revised edition. Crawford House, Bathurst, NSW. 557pp.

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.

Citation: Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., Nanola, C., Abesamis, R., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Russell, B., Rocha, L.A. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Ctenochaetus tominiensis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T177986A1512001. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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