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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Common names: sheephead (English), wrasse (English), vieja (Espanol), pejeperro (Espanol)
 
Semicossyphus darwini (Jenyns, 1842)


Pacific red sheephead,       Galapagos sheephead



Body robust; head bluntly pointed; 2 pairs of enlarged, curved canines at front of each jaw; rear of upper jaw with moderately enlarged canine on each side; dorsal fin with XII spines, 10 rays; anal rays III, 11 or 12; pectoral rays 18; lateral line complete, smoothly arched; scales relatively small, 53-56 on lateral line, those on head reaching only to rear of eyes.



IP:  red with white chin; a large yellow patch just behind head and black spot at front of dorsal fin; TP:  bluish grey; chin white; a large yellow patch behind head.



Maximum size to about 70 cm.

Habitat: found along rocky shores of the cooler southern and western regions of the Galapagos.


Depth: 3-100 m.


Ecuador to northern Chile, and Galapagos Islands.
   
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Biology

Caught in both shallow and deep waters. Its strong dentition makes it an opportunistic predator, even of hard-shelled benthos as shown by its stomach contents of coarse calcareous remains and detritus (Ref. 11295).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, and is found from Ecuador to northern Chile, including the Galápagos Islands.
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Zoogeography

See Map (including site records) of Distribution in the Tropical Eastern Pacific 
 
Global Endemism: All species, East Pacific endemic, TEP non-endemic

Regional Endemism: All species, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic, Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily, Peruvian province, primarily, Continent + Island (s), Continent, Island (s)

Residency: Resident

Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo), South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
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Southeast Pacific: Ecuador to central Peru, and Galapagos Islands.
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Southeastern Pacific.
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Depth

Depth Range (m): 3 (S) - 100 (S)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 12; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 12
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Size

Length max (cm): 70.0 (S)
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Size

Maximum size: 700 mm TL
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Max. size

70.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 11295)); max. published weight: 4,000 g (Ref. 11295)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This is a large, and likely slow-growing species, whose biology and ecology is not well-known. It is most often found below 15 m depth, but with occasional individuals in shallow water. It is associated with deeper algal turf habitats (Pérez-Matus 2007). It is associated with deep water kelp forests in the Galápagos (Graham et al. 2007). Its strong dentition makes it an opportunistic predator, even of hard-shelled benthos as shown by its stomach contents of coarse calcareous remains and detritus (Reck 1983).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 3 - 100 m (Ref. 11295)
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Depth: 3 - 100m.
From 3 to 100 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated.
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Salinity: Marine, Marine Only

Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only

Water Column Position: Bottom, Bottom only

Habitat: Reef (rock &/or coral), Reef only, Rocks, Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)

FishBase Habitat: Reef Associated
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Trophic Strategy

Caught in both shallow and deep waters. Its strong dentition makes it an opportunistic predator, even of hard-shelled benthos as shown by its stomach contents of coarse calcareous remains and detritus (Ref. 11295).
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Feeding

Feeding Group: Carnivore

Diet: mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs), mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves, sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins, sessile crustacea, sessile molluscs
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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Egg Type: Pelagic, Pelagic larva
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Allen, G., Rivera, F., Edgar, G., Merlen, G. & Choat, J.H.

Reviewer/s
Sadovy, Y., Craig, M. & Roberston, R.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is widespread and common in at least the southern portion of its range. It is a large and probably slow growing wrasse making it vulnerable to overfishing. There is special concern for the Galápagos population, which is heavily exploited. However, there is no information on the life history or the impact of the fishing pressure on this species. This species is listed as Data Deficient. It is recommended that more research be done on the impacts of the fishing and the biology of this species.
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IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed

CITES: Not listed
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Population

Population
This species is more common in the southern portion of its range. It was studied in different sites at Galápagos archipelago, with an overall mean abundance of 0.49 individuals per 500 m2 (Edgar et al. 2004),where it primarily occurs in the west and south of the islands below the thermocline. In Peru, this species occurs rarely north of Lima, but is common south and in northern Chile.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is a large and probably slow growing wrasse making it vulnerable to overfishing. There is special concern for the Galápagos population, which is heavily exploited.

Given its deep-water habitat and southerly distribution, ENSO is unlikely to greatly affect the population. Population numbers declined more than 80% at sites studied in Galápagos during 1997/98 El Niño, with recovery one year later in 1999. This species presumably migrated to deep water during the El Niño event.
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no known conservation measures for this species. However, its distribution falls partially into a number of Marine Protected Areas in the Eastern Pacific region (WDPA 2006). More research is needed to determine the impact of commercial fishing on this species throughout its range.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of potential interest
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