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Chlorurus spilurus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES LABRIDAE

Scientific Name: Chlorurus spilurus
Species Authority: (Valenciennes 1840)
Common Name(s):
English Bullethead Parrotfish
Taxonomic Notes: The widespread species Chlorurus sordidus is now partitioned into C. sordidus (Forsskål 1775), in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean and Chlorurus spilurus (Valenciennes 1840), in the Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean based on mitochondrial sequence and morphology data (Bay et al.2004, Randall 2010, Beck 2010). It is likely that the Red Sea population will also be distinct (J.H. Choat pers comm. 2009).

Westneat and Alfaro (2005) recognize the Scarini as a tribe within the family Labridae. The genera Chlororus and Scarus are two distinct monophyletic lineages (Smith et al. 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2009-09-16
Assessor(s): Choat, J.H., Carpenter, K.E., Clements, K.D., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B., Myers, R., Lazuardi, M.E., Muljadi, A., Pardede, S. & Rahardjo, P.
Reviewer(s): McIlwain, J. & Craig, M.T.
Justification:
This species is one of the most abundant and widespread Pacific parrotfishes. It occurs in numerous protected areas including the two largest marine parks in the world, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
History:
2010 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the Pacific and the Eastern Indian Ocean from Western Australia northwards to southern Japan and southern China, eastwards to the Hawaiian Islands chain, southwards to eastern Australia to central New South Wales, all reef sites in French Polynesia, Marquesas, Rapa and Pitcain. It is present in all western and central Pacific reef sites.
Countries:
Native:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; Christmas Island; Cook Islands; Disputed Territory (Paracel Is., Spratly Is.); Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Kiribati (Kiribati Line Is., Phoenix Is.); Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn; Samoa; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States (Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands (Howland-Baker Is., Johnston I., Midway Is., Wake Is.); Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is highly abundant over most sites recorded over throughout its range (Leiske and Myers 1994, Randall et al. 1997). In northeastern Australia, densities of up to 350 per 1,000 m2 on reef crests and slopes, 100-200 per 1,000 m2 in more sheltered sites were recorded (Gust et al. 2001, Gust et al. 2002).

In Aceh, Indonesia, catch rates indicate that it is below maximum sustainable yeild (S. Pardede pers comm. 2009). It is common in Raja Ampat (Allen 2003).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in reef habitats with juveniles recruiting to lagoonal environments (Crook 1999). It occurs in small schools up to 50 individuals. It forms large (up to 200) residential spawning groups (Colin and Bell 1991, Sancho et al. 2000).

The maximum age recorded was 15 years in the Abrolhos Island, Western Australia. For most Pacific sites, the maximum age recorded was 8-10 years. The maximum size recorded for this species was 37 cm (TL) in the Abrolhos. For most Pacific sites, the maximum size recorded was 25-30 cm (TL) (Choat and Robertson 2002, DeMartini et al. 2005).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is a component of artisanal and local fishing at most inhabited sites.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is heavily fished at some sites, such as in the main Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit Final Report 2009). In the Coral Triangle Region, it is also heavily exploited. But it seems to be more resilient and is less obviously impacted by fishing than some of the larger species, such as C. bleekeri (Stockwell et al. 2009). In Guam, the mean weight of individual landed fish did not change from 1985 to 2007 (J. McIlwain pers comm. 2010).

Parrotfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reefs, while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. Although the majority of the parrotfishes occur in mixed habitat (primarily inhabiting seagrass beds, mangroves, and rocky reefs) approximately 78% of these mixed habitat species are experiencing greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and habitat quality across their distributions. Of those species that occur exclusively in coral reef habitat, more than 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% of coral reef loss and degradation across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of habitat loss and degradation on these species populations.   Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that depend on live coral reefs for food and shelter 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. Furthermore, coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for some corallivorous excavating parrotfishes that play major roles in reef dynamics and sedimentation (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.

Citation: Choat, J.H., Carpenter, K.E., Clements, K.D., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B., Myers, R., Lazuardi, M.E., Muljadi, A., Pardede, S. & Rahardjo, P. 2012. Chlorurus spilurus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 September 2014.
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