Albula virgata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Albuliformes Albulidae

Scientific Name: Albula virgata Jordan & Jordan, 1922
Common Name(s):
English Longjaw Bonefish
Taxonomic Source(s): Colborn, J., Crabtree, R.E., Shakee, J.B., Pfeiler, E. and Bowen, B.W. 2001. The evolutionary enigma of bonefishes (Albula spp.): crytic species and ancient separations in a globally-distributed shorefish. Evolution 55: 807-820.
Taxonomic Notes: The nomenclature of the bonefish family Albulidae is currently in a state of revision. Until recently, bonefish were considered to be comprised of two species, the circumglobal Albula vulpes and the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Albula nemoptera; however, new molecular genetic information indicates that there are at least eight morphologically indistinguishable, but genetically distinct species (Colborn et al. 2001). Wallace and Tringali (2010) have recently found nine distinct species.

This species is part of the Indo-Pacific species complex, comprised of two additional species, Albula argentea and Albula oligolepis (Hidaka et al. 2008).  

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-03-29
Assessor(s): Adams, A., Guindon, K., Horodysky, A., MacDonald, T., McBride, R., Shenker, J. & Ward, R.
Reviewer(s): Harwell, H. & Raynal, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Harwell, H.
This species is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands (Colborn et al. 2001, Hidaka et al. 2008). Little information exists regarding its ecology, life history characteristics, and fishery gear interactions. Reported habitats for this species (shallow sand flats) are rare and fragmented in the Hawaiian Islands. The paucity of data for this species warrants its listing as Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands (Colborn et al. 2001, Hidaka et al. 2008).
Countries occurrence:
United States (Hawaiian Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):50
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is not commonly encountered and is not known to occur in fishery or survey data. Five specimens from three collections are reported from museums (accessed through the Fishnet2 Portal,, 2011-05-14).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The maximum size recorded for this species is 32.2 cm SL (Hidaka et al. 2008). It is sometimes seen in small schools, usually over sand flats in shallow water. This species feeds primarily on small molluscs, worms, and crustaceans that live beneath the sand; its conical snout is well adapted to probe for food in the sand (Randall 2010). Reported habitats for this species (shallow sand flats) are rare and fragmented in the Hawaiian Islands.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Bonefish were an important food resource for early Hawaiians and are targeted today by a mix of commercial, recreational and subsistence fishers.  Commercial landings of bonefish in Hawaii have declined from over 136.4 mt in 1900 to only 1.2 mt in 2001 (Friedlander et al. 2008). These statistics, however, likely represent multiple bonefish species but are assumed to be predominantly A. glossodonta.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Commercial landings of bonefish in Hawaii have decreased dramatically over the past few decades, presumably because of overfishing and loss of habitat, from over 300,000 lbs in 1900 to less than 3,000 lbs. since 2002. Bonefish were the most important species in the commercial seine fishery between 1966 and 1970, with average annual yields of nearly 18,000 pounds. Although the presence of multiple species within the fishery makes species-specific declines hard to pinpoint, the commercial seine catch now averages only 581lbs per year, accounting for less than 8% of the catch. Reported habitats for this species (shallow sand flats) are rare in the Hawaiian Islands. The limited range of this species may also make it vulnerable to local threats, such as habitat loss (Friedlander et al. 2008). Little is known about post-release mortality for the catch-and-release fishery.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The state of Hawaii has recently raised the minimum size requirement for bonefish recreational fishery from 23 cm TL to 36 cm TL, although there is neither a closed season nor a bag limit (Friedlander et al. 2008). Given the maximum recorded size of 32 cm for this species, these regulations preclude the harvest of this species. This species likely occurs in Mrine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Citation: Adams, A., Guindon, K., Horodysky, A., MacDonald, T., McBride, R., Shenker, J. & Ward, R. 2012. Albula virgata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T194302A2310633. . Downloaded on 26 May 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided