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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Lives in close association with long-spined sea urchins or branching corals of sheltered reefs (Ref. 9710). Juvenile fish eat pedicellariae and sphaeridia of the host Diadema and commensal copepods; adult fish eat burrowing bivalves in corals as well as tube feet of their host and eggs of a commercial shrimp (Ref. 33619).
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Distribution

Western Indian Ocean: Oman (Ref. 11441) and Mauritius (Ref. 33390). Western Pacific: Indonesia to Fiji and Tonga (Ref. 53797), north to southern Japan (Ref. 559), south to northern Australia.
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Indo-West Pacific: Mauritius (Mascarenes) east to Fiji and Tonga, north to Ryukyu Islands, south to Western Australia and New Caledonia.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13 - 15; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 12 - 14
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Size

Maximum size: 50 mm TL
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Max. size

5.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 2334))
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Diagnostic Description

Distinguished by its long spatulate snout and slender shape; reddish or brown with a pair of yellow stripes on upper half of the head and body.
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

reef-associated; marine
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Depth range based on 29 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 6 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1.25 - 18.3
  Temperature range (°C): 25.689 - 28.764
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.085 - 0.622
  Salinity (PPS): 33.507 - 35.280
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.441 - 4.812
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.055 - 0.247
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.819 - 3.277

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1.25 - 18.3

Temperature range (°C): 25.689 - 28.764

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.085 - 0.622

Salinity (PPS): 33.507 - 35.280

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.441 - 4.812

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.055 - 0.247

Silicate (umol/l): 0.819 - 3.277
 
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Trophic Strategy

The association od D. lineatus with Diadema is not obligatory, so Diadema may not be essential for the adult fish, but juveniles use the host for shelter and food and it may be difficult for them to survive without Diadema. The fish does not appear to be beneficial or harmful to its host. It eats only a small quantity of tube feet and the damage inflicted on Diadema is not severe. Females have a narrower and longer snout which is suitable for taking small parts from animals. Consequently, they eat more shrimp eggs and gills of bivalves Males eat more tube feet of sea urchins (Ref. 33619).
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
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